All-Time Indians: Doug Jones


Name: Douglas Reid Jones     Position: Closing Pitcher  
                  Number: 11      
Tribe Time: 1986-1991,1998         DOB: 06/24/1957    
Accolades: 3 Time All-Star (1988-1990), Top 25 MVP (1988,1990)      
Best Season (1988) 3 4 0.429 2.27 51 37 43 83.1 69 26 21 1 16 72 1.02 7.8 .217
Career 27 34 0.443 3.07 295 129 163 452.1 451 181 154 23 104 367 1.23 7.3 .250

Doug Jones was the first great closer for the Cleveland Indians and maintains the Indians record for most career save opportunities. He happened to come around at the perfect time for closers as for the first time in baseball history, pitchers were put into save situations simply to earn the save, rather than teams using the best pitcher in the most important situation despite the inning. Jones came to the Tribe in 1985 after being released by Milwaukee. After two good seasons, Jones became the full time closer in 1988 and posted one of the best relief seasons in Indians history. Over the next three seasons, Jones set marks in the top ten for save chances each year and saves twice. When he saved 43 games in 1990 it was an Indians record (broken four seasons later by Jose Mesa)

In 1991 Jones struggled over his first 31 games before the Indians decided to turn him into a starter. After making three straight all-star teams and garnering MVP votes in two of the past three seasons, Jones dropped to a 5.54 ERA (his worst ERA as a closer was 2.56 in 1990). This struggle was enough for the Indians to give up on the 35 year old pitcher and he left the team through free agency to Houston. He then pitched eight more seasons between five other teams, with some great seasons and others where he struggled.

In 1998 the Indians traded right handed reliever Eric Plunk to the Brewers in exchange for an elderly Jones and the Indians were able to take him to his first career playoff appearance. After becoming famous with the Tribe and having his best seasons in Cleveland, Jones had finally returned and had another good partial season. At the end of the season, he joined the Athletics for two years, making the playoffs one more time before retiring.

In his career, Jones remains one of the top closers in Indians history and ranks in the top ten in save conversion percent and top five in total saves (just ten behind Bob Wickman). 

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB