The honor and Jones' time with the Wisconsin minor league outfit connect him historically with the likes of Earl Weaver, Boog Powell, and Cal Ripken Sr., each of whom were associated with an earlier incarnation of the club that used to serve as an Orioles affiliate.
But first, the team's website makes the case for Jones:
The Stats: .267 average (136 hits in 510 at bats), .314 OBP, .717 OPS, 23 doubles, 7 triples, 11 home runs, 72 runs batted in, 8 stolen basesJones, who played shortstop during the 2004 season in Wisconsin, won with 44 percent of the vote, which was otherwise divided between Ramon Vazquez, Ramon Valera, and Matt Tuiasosopo. Among Jones' memorable days with the Timber Rattlers was July 31, 2004, when he homered twice and drove in five runs.
The Facts: Seattle Mariners 1st round draft pick in 2003 out of Morse (CA) High School; Opening Day Age: 18
The Case: Young and multi-talented, Jones is the best defender of the group and leads the candidates in home runs and RBI.
The Orioles star center fielder moved to the outfield in 2006 with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.
Previous incarnations of the Timber Rattlers included the Appleton Foxes, who were an Orioles affiliate in the early '60s. Earl Weaver led the club to a league championship in 1960, the team's first year connected to the O's, behind the bats of Boog Powell, who hit.312 with 100 RBI, and League MVP Pete Ward, who hit .345.
Ward played eight games with the Orioles in 1962 before being sent to Chicago as part of the Luis Aparicio trade. Ward came in second for Rookie of the Year honors in 1963 with the White Sox.
Meanwhile, Cal Ripken Sr. earned Manager of the Year honors with the Wisconsin club in 1962 at the age of 26. Ripken was in his second year as a manager, having been at the helm of the Leesburg Orioles in 1961.