Ruppert Jones Throws Out Mariners Ceremonial First Pitch Tomorrow

Former Seattle Mariners outfielder Ruppert Jones, the first player selected by the Mariners in the 1976 MLB Expansion Draft, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Mariners vs. Chicago White Sox game tomorrow at Safeco Field.

Jones was invited back to Seattle as part of the Mariners 35th Anniversary celebration, a season-long tribute to the franchise’s history in which former Mariners are welcomed back to Seattle for special appearances and promotions at Safeco Field.

Ruppert also participated in a Live Chat with the Seattle Times earlier today.

Jones was the Mariners first All-Star in 1977 . His best season for the Mariners came in 1979 when he set career highs in runs (109), RBI (78), hits (166), triples (9) and stolen bases (33). He played in every game that season.

Ruppert Jones will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday's game vs. the White Sox. © Seattle Mariners

During an 11-year Major League career, Jones played for the Kansas City Royals, Mariners, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers and California Angels. He also played one season in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers in 1988.

Announcer Ken Wilson, who was calling Mariners games during Ruppert’s time with the Mariners, is looking forward to seeing him back in Seattle:

Ruppert Jones was the first player that provided true hope for Mariners fans.  General Manager Lou Gorman knew “Rup” from his days in Kansas City, and saw him as a young player with a significant upside.  He was as close to a bona-fide five-tool star player as the Mariners had.  Rup could run.  He stole bases and did an excellent job in center field.  He could swing the bat, and most of all in those days, Ruppert Jones was a home run threat.  I can see him striding to the plate with that #9 on his back as if it were yesterday.

Friday’s game is also Ichiro Bobblehead Night. The first 20,000 fans will receive an Ichiro bobblehead courtesy of ROOT SPORTS.

Ruppert Jones was the Mariners first All-Star in 1977. © Seattle Mariners

- JE

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