Congratulations to Nathan Jones who was selected as the 2015 Wall of Fame recipient. Due to the White Sox schedule and contract limitations with the organization, Nathan was unable to be in attendance to accept the honor. Click here to see Nate's message to the graduates and community that was shown at the commencement ceremony.
Nathan Jones was raised in Pendleton County and is a 2004 graduate of Pendleton County High School. He went on to Northern Kentucky University where he received a full scholarship to play on the Norse baseball team. Nathan pitched for the Norse from 2005-2007. He finished his junior season with a 2.88 ERA in 16 appearances. He pitched two complete games, including one shutout, and added two saves. Nathan collected 60 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings on the mound and held opposing batters to a team-low .185 batting average.
After being selected in the fifth round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago White Sox, he went on to pitch for various teams throughout the White Sox organization. In the 2012 White Sox Major League Spring Training, he had a 1.69 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 10 appearances to win a spot in the bullpen and break with the team as a rookie. Nathan made his Major League Debut on April 8, 2012 against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, TX. He worked 1.0 scoreless inning and registered his first strikeout against Josh Hamilton (the 2010 American League MVP). On May 5, 2012 Nathan recorded his first Major League win against the Detroit Tigers working 1.0 scoreless inning. During his rookie season, he made a team-high 21 consecutive scoreless appearances covering 22 1/3 innings from August 12 through September 28. Nathan finished 8-0 that year, which was the best by a rookie relief pitcher in White Sox history. He ranked among American League relief pitchers in:
Nathan spent his second full season with the White Sox in 2013. He was the recipient of the March of Dimes White Sox Player of the Year Award. He led all White Sox relievers in innings pitched and strikeouts. From June 1, 2013 through the remainder of the season, Nathan averaged 10.27 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched and posted a 2.94 ERA with 69 strikeouts. He ranked among American League relief pitchers in:
First Batter Faced Average – tied for 1st (0.131 batting average)
Innings Pitched – 3rd (78 innings)
Strikeouts – 4th (89 strikeouts)
Grounded into Double Play – tied for 6th (9)
The 2014 season was cut short due to injuries. In May, Nathan underwent a back surgery. Then, in July, he had Tommy John surgery. Currently, he is recovering and hopes to be back with the team to finish the 2015 season.
Nathan loves to give back to his community, no matter where he is. He participated in a Celebrity Bowling Classic in Chicago to support specific White Sox charities. Also, he visited pediatric patients at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago. Each year when the team plays in Baltimore, he visits the Walter Reed Medical Center to engage with injured soldiers and listen to their stories. Nathan represented the team at an organ and tissue donor awareness signing event and hosted a Chicago Bulls/White Sox Academy Ballpark experience. He participated in a Play Ball Clinic with local youth baseball players in Chicago.
Pendleton County has always been a special place to Nathan. He hosted an event to raise money for the Melvin Hart Toy Drive and the Trinity Southern Baptist Church Thanksgiving Meal. He also donates his time to local baseball teams to help encourage and instruct the youth. Nathan donates to the South Family Resource Center Weekend Backpack Program and Adopt-A-Family Program during the holiday season. Pendleton County will always be home to Nathan. During the off seasons from baseball, Nathan resides in Falmouth with his wife, Lacy Wright Jones, and their two children, Lilly and Archer. He is the son of Bill and Debbie Jones of Butler.