There was once a pitching matchup featuring Bobby Jones vs. Bobby Jones
Eighteen years ago today, an unlikely scene played out at Coors Field.
Taking the mound for the Mets was Bobby Jones.
Taking the mound for the Rockies was Bobby Jones.
It really happened. It was the first time in a century that two pitchers with the same name squared off against each other.
There had been other instances of identically named players in the same league, like Hall of Fame right-hander Pedro Martinez pitching at the same time as another Pedro Martinez, who was left-handed. An actual showdown between same-named players had only happened three times in the history of baseball, though: George H. Bradley and George W. Bradley dueled twice in 1876, and John B. Taylor faced off with John W. Taylor on April 16, 1899.
In this particular matchup, though, it was Bobby M. Jones (of the Rockies) who came out on top. He earned the win with five innings of two-run ball, while Bobby J. Jones (of the Mets) struggled, surrendering eight runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Bobby M. Jones even struck out his counterpart for good measure.
Perhaps most amusing about the pair was the fact that, despite sharing a name and occupation, the two Bobby Joneses shared essentially nothing in common. "There are not a lot of similarities outside of our name," said Bobby M. Jones to the New York Times. "He's 6'4" and I'm 6-foot. He's white and I'm black. He's right-handed and I'm left-handed."
Yet despite the contrasts and different teams, Bobby M. Jones said that he received the other's mail all the time. That problem only exacerbated itself the following year, when he was traded from the Rockies to the Mets.
At one point during the 2000 season, one Bobby Jones was even demoted for the other. Then, when they were Major League teammates, Bobby M. Jones came out of the bullpen to relieve Bobby J. Jones on three separate occasions.
It all worked out in the end though, as their team became a pennant-winner, thanks in part to a one-hit, National League Division Series-clinching shutout by Bobby J. Jones.
The Jones tandem was separated when Bobby J. Jones signed with the Padres prior to the 2001 season, but they were briefly reunited when the Mets dealt Bobby M. Jones to San Diego at the 2002 Trade Deadline. They started on back-to-back days on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 to add another fun fact to their resumes.