“Sad Sam” Jones won 229 games in a 22-year career spent with six of the eight teams in the American League. He won twenty games twice, lost twenty games twice, and pitched in four World Series. In 1916, he was part of the trade that sent Tris Speaker to the Cleveland Indians — one of the worst trades in Boston Red Sox’ history. In 1923, the right-hander hurled a no-hitter and led the New York Yankees to their first World Series title. He was one of the first pitchers to wear glasses while playing.
In 1923, Jones threw a no-hitter, won 21 games, and led the Yankees to their third straight pennant. That season, when Jones hurled his no-hit game against the Philadelphia Athletics on September 4, 1923, at Shibe Park, he did not strike out a single batter. That fall, the Yankees faced the Giants in the World Series for the third straight year. In Game Three at (brand new) Yankee Stadium, Jones was beaten 1-0 by Art Nehf. It was the closest “Sad Sam” came to winning a World Series game. In Game Six, Jones relieved in the 8th inning and held the Giants at bay for the deciding 6-4 win. He was one the mound for the final out of the Yankees’ first World Series title.
Jones earned the nickname “Sad Sam” or “Sad Sam the Cemetary Man,” for his somber demeanor, which, according to some reports, was a misnomer. His obituary called him “whimsical and quietly humorous.” It’s likely he gained the nickname because he wore a very serious look on his face while pitching. He was also called “Horsewhips,” because of the “crack” of his sharp breaking ball. Jones was born in Woodsfield, Ohio, earning the moniker “The Squire of Woodsfield.”
Pitching in relief on July 14, 1932, Jones won his 200th career game, 9-8, over the Red Sox in Fenway Park.