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Jones idolized Gwynn as a child in San Diego

Adam Jones, CF, Orioles
San Diego

Adam Jones grew up like any other baseball-hungry kid in San Diego: he loved Tony Gwynn. During the last decade, Jones grew close with Gwynn and his son, Tony Gwynn Jr., through offseason workouts.

When Gwynn passed away in June, Jones honored him during the All-Star Game by scrawling "TG19" on his cap during the game.

"He was never a guy who wanted all the fame and praise," Jones said. "He could have left San Diego after his career, but he knew San Diego was his home."

Instead, Gwynn became a role model for aspiring baseball players like Jones, who developed into a top shortstop at Morse High School and was drafted in the first round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft by the Mariners.

This season, the Orioles brought in a pair of influential figures from Jones' childhood. First-year bullpen catcher Jett Ruiz played travel ball with Jones and outfielder Quintin Berry played with Jones in high school.

David Wilson is an associate reporter for
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