Reporting Mary Bubala
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– One of the reasons for the Baltimore Orioles’ surge may be its new leader and superstar, Adam Jones. He just signed an $85 million contract, making him one of the richest athletes in Baltimore history.
Jones confides in Mary Bubala that his passion for life and for Baltimore goes well beyond what happens on the field.
He’s the Orioles’ marquee player and now he’s Baltimore’s $85 million man. Centerfielder Adam Jones was just signed to a huge contract, now the highest paid player ever for the Orioles.
Under the lights at Camden Yards, he’s a high-octane player on the brink of becoming a Major League star. But when Jones agreed to an in-depth interview with WJZ, we quickly found there’s a lot more to this 26-year-old than big hits, big catches and big money.
Bubala: “Has it hit home– all that you are and all that you now have? Do you pinch yourself like, ‘This is my reality?’”
Jones: “It’s not about me going out and getting these big houses, spending all my money enjoying my money myself, but I think it’s more of a legacy if you set your family up.”
Jones was raised in San Diego by a single mother until he was five.
“Oh yeah, I’m a momma’s boy but I’m growing out of it a little bit,” he said.
She’s still by his side and in his thoughts every time he crosses home plate.
“I touch my shoulder. It’s for my grandmother, my mom and my auntie– the three strongest women in my family. They’re the root of the family,” he said.
Jones’ two great loves– his family and baseball– have shaped him in ways he wants to share. He wants to be known for more than his heroics on the field.
“I know I have the opportunity to change lives,” he said. “I think the sky’s the limit with what I can do in the community. I try to not necessarily give money, but try to give my time. I think that’s a lot more valuable to kids if they actually see you doing something than just receiving something. They actually get to see me, come up, ask me questions– they ask me everything.”
Bubala: “I bet that they ask you about the money?”
Jones: “He was asking me for a hug or something. He said, ‘No, you make too much money. I can’t hug you.’ I was like, ‘What? Come here man.’”
Fans love Jones and he’s embraced them. About 40,000 people alone follow him on Twitter where he reveals his life off the field– lots of food and dogs.
“I got a dog. My girlfriend’s got a dog. So we just chill. My neighbors have two boxers. They come over, they’re rowdy,” Jones said.
His girlfriend Audie Fugett is from Baltimore, and Jones hints he’d like to start a family in the near future.
“Hopefully, before 30. I would rather have my kids see my play. You’ve got a lot of guys on the team with kids,” he said.
Bubala: “You’ve committed to staying here for a long time. That has to be a sense of relief for you as well.”
Jones: “It is to stay in the city that’s adopted me. I come out and play my hardest everyday for these fans. This is my clubhouse. This is my team.”
Adam Jones is expected to be selected to his second All-Star team when the results are announced on Sunday.