A familiar, friendly face was back in a Rangers uniform Friday morning.
Longtime Rangers coach Bobby Jones was in camp for the start of a 10-day stint helping mentor and instruct players. Jones, who retired last October after 50 years with the organization, will continue to spend 10 days a month visiting minor league affiliates in the organization throughout the season.
Jones is loving retirement and didn’t feel lost when it was the normal time to leave for spring training but he remained in Tulsa. He’s still enjoying the 1965 red Mustang the Rangers gifted him for his retirement last October. He said he’s put about 300 miles on it.
“It’s amazing. All the years I’ve been in it when spring training came around and everybody was leaving I had no desire,” he said. “Maybe it was time to get out. I didn’t sit there and think, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s time for me to go or wish I was down there.’”
But it also felt great to be back and see friends, meet young new players and help out.
“[I’ll enjoy] seeing everybody and going to the different towns and visiting with the different staffs and getting to know the young kids and that part of it,” he said.
Manager Jeff Banister said having Jones back for part of camp is good morale.
“It’s great to have Bobby Jones back in camp, his energy, knowledge,” Banister said. “These guys love bobby so just having him here [is important]. I’m sure he’s going to have some colorful conversations.”