Former MLB player Deacon Jones remembers special visit with Jackie Robinson

Friday, April 2, 2021
How a Jackie Robinson hug changed this former coach's life
Deacon Jones has played or coached the Astros, Padres, White Sox and Orioles. But over all his years in major league baseball he still remembers this special meeting with Jackie Robinson! Jones shares the impact Robinson had on his life, how he battled racism to achieve his dream, and why baseball is the best sport on earth!

SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- He may be 86-years-old, but Deacon Jones tells his story of running into baseball legend, Jackie Robinson like it happened yesterday. With aspirations of making it to the big leagues, Jones had an opportunity to try out for the majors in his late teens. The 3-day session concluded with Robinson sitting next to Jones and striking up a conversation, telling him to make sure he went to college before going pro. Jones agreed and would eventually go and played college ball.

After graduating, Jones leveled up to play in the minors. It was during this time that Jones would run into Robinson again at an airport. Jones said "sure enough, I was pushing through the crowd and saw these broad shoulders and the greying hair, and I pushed myself around. And finally we got face to face. I said Mr. Robinson, you don't remember me, but about 3, 4 years ago I worked out with the Dodgers and he interrupted me. He looked at me and said, did you go to college? I said yes sir. And he hugged me in front of all those people." Jones says it was an incredible moment, to be hugged by Jackie Robinson in front of his teammates. He doesn't have any pictures from the encounter, but he remembers it vividly.

Jones eventually made the majors and played for the Chicago White Sox for a few seasons. These days, you can find him hanging around Constellation Field, greeting fans as they come to watch a game. The Skeeters retired his number 4 which can be seen hanging in the stands behind home plate. Jones says he's proud to call Sugar Land his home and is looking forward to this year's season as it will be the first one connected with the Houston Astros.