Remembering Davy Jones (No, Not That One)

Wednesday, February 29 2012 @ 07:13 PM EST

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

You've probably heard the terrible news from the world of popular music (though if you're younger than, say, 40, it might not have registered much). The great Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, passed away today (TMZ has the story here.). This has caused an avalanche of Social Mediots of a Certain Age to tearfully post mournful remembories of the pint-sized lead singer and prom date of one Marcia Brady.

But did you know ... baseball had its own Davy Jones?

The (primarily) Cubs and Tigers lefty-hitting OF of the early 1900s (1901-15 and '18, if you count his late-career Federal League stint), stood 5'10" and weighed 165# in his playing days, so he dwarfed the diminutive pop singer.

Baseball's Davy played in 1,090 games and knocked out 1.020 base hits, to the tune of a .270 career average; his peripheral counting stats at the plate don't amount to much -- nine homers and just 147 XBH total with 289 RBI over his 16 big league seasons. He did swipe 207 bases, getting to double digits 12 times with a high of 30 and two other seasons where he stole 25 bags -- which were not unusual totals for the era.

David Jefferson "Kangaroo" Jones earned his nickname, the story goes, for his tendency to "jump" contracts, but he also tended to play on winning teams wherever he landed, appearing in three World Series, in which he hit a combined .265 and, uncharacteristically even added a solo home run and, more characterisically, stole four bases. Jones played in Tigers World Series outfields alongside Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford, who both are in the Hall of Fame.

As far as we can tell, Jones never played with (but might have played against) Frank "Monkey" Foreman or Pete "Monkey" Hotaling. Maybe they could have met up to perform the national anthem? Ah, well ...

After retiring from the game, Jones earned a degree in pharmacy from the University of Southern California and worked in Detroit as a pharmacist, operating a drug store for 40 years. He passed on to the Great Ballyard Beyond on March 30, 1972 -- after The Monkees had already debuted, run its course and been cancelled.

There are more detailed biographies of Jones here (thanks to SABR) and here (from the incomparable Baseball-Reference Bullpen).

Hop on board that Last Train to Clarksville, Davy. We know You're a Believer ... even a Daydream Believer!

Rest well -- now, go meet your baseball namesake!