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Former Washington Nationals player coaching youth
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
July 03, 2012 12:26 PM | 3180 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, brothers Desmond Jones and J.J. Jones find a moment for laughter between practices at the SBO Baseball Complex in Adairsville last week.
From left, brothers Desmond Jones and J.J. Jones find a moment for laughter between practices at the SBO Baseball Complex in Adairsville last week.
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Former Washington Nationals player Desmond Jones will begin coaching a 14U youth travel ball team in July for the Bartow-based Strikers Baseball Organization.

Strikers Baseball Organization is a nonprofit travel baseball organization which began in 2007 and is based in Adairsville. It is operated by founder and Head Coach Bobby Smith.

Jones, a Cartersville native, was drafted by the Nationals in 2006 from Middle Georgia College and played in the Major Leagues through 2008, leaving the league after injuring his pitching arm.

He said he has been training and mentoring young players since 2005 through offseason camps and personal training. There are many travel ball teams in the state of Georgia that Jones could have chosen to coach, but he said there was no other choice for him.

“I like the SBO and I’ve known Bobby for seven years. He’s a great baseball guy, he’s been coaching for a while and really knows the game. SBO is a great organization; its solely about the kids.” Jones said. “We’ll work together and make the organization better team by team.”

Even though he stopped playing baseball, Jones has been training young players and decided to try coaching.

“I have passion for baseball and seeing kids develop . I’m training kids now and decided to take it to another level and coach. It’s another challenge and I like challenges and I can add it to my repertoire,” Jones said. “I’ll be a full time coach. Personally, I want to see kids grow and mature as players.”

Jones said that his brother, J.J. Jones, will be coaching the team with him as well.

“I’ll be coaching mostly pitchers and working with the catchers, but my brother J.J. will work with the infield and outfield as my assistant coach,” Jones said.

J.J. Jones played semi-pro baseball, college baseball for Georgia College, has coached other travel ball teams and has been training young players for five years.

This is Desmond Jones’ first year with Strikers, but according to him, it won’t be his last.

“I plan on working with SBO as long as I can, year after year,” Jones said.

While Jones does enjoy working with the youth, he said he is considering playing again.

“I had my injury but I’m more mature now and I’m thinking about giving it one more shot, but I’m not sure yet,” Jones said.

Jones owns a private baseball training club, 360 Baseball Club, which will be hosting a camp July 9-12 at Hamilton Crossing Park in Cartersville for players ages 5-14.

Jones said there will be at least three Major League players present for the camp as well as players from Strikers.

The camp is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon for ages 5-8 and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for ages 9-14. The cost is $125 per camper.

To register, go to www.facebook.com/360baseballclub.
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