Jones was runner-up for the Cy Young Award in the National League in 1975 when he won 20 games for the lowly Padres and led the league in ERA. The following year the curly-headed lefthander won the award and started the All-Star Game in Philadelphia. That bicentennial season, Jones went 22-14 with 25 complete games. In games he didn’t get the decision in, San Diego went 51-75, so unless Jones was on the mound there was little hope for the Padres at that time.
The ’76 campaign was the last time Jones won as many as 14 games as he struggled in his late 20s with ineffectiveness and a sore arm. He won only 35 games in his next four years with San Diego, and he was dealt to the Mets during the 1980 winter meetings for two prospects. Once known for his control, Jones struggled to throw strikes for the Mets in two seasons and was out of the big leagues in 1983.