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If you want to be an outfielder in the big leagues, you have to be fit. The centerfield position takes speed, instincts, and oustanding conditioning. Adam Jones, 29-year-old Orioles outfielder and four-time Golden Glove recipient, has all those traits in spades. The San Diego native was a two-sport athlete growing up, and is now the highest paid player in O’s history. We caught up with the hardball standout to see what goes through his mind on the field, in the gym, and everwhere in between.
M&F: What got you into baseball?
Adam Jones: I played T-ball like every other kid. But I picked up the sport big time at 12 and haven’t looked back. I also played basketball growing up, but with baseball it was the work ethic that caught and grabbed my attention.
M&F: What does your training schedule consist of? What do you do in the off-season to stay in shape?
AJ: I do A LOT of kettlebells during training, I mean a lot. My trainer in San Diego, John Swain, has me involved in these workouts that strengthen my entire lower half and core. The results keep me on the field and has so far kept away any major issues with my lower half. It’s not for everyone but it’s something that has helped me a ton because I’m not the most flexible.
M&F: How do you deal with the pressure to preform that is put on you as a professional athlete?
AJ: I learned a long time ago that in sports, someone has to be the winner, and I aim only to do that. If I’m prepared, I will succeed. And, you have to be mentally strong and understand that you’re in this position for a reason.
M&F: You’re the honorary chair of the YMCA ‘send a child to camp’ fundraising campaign. Can you elaborate on that experience? What does the YMCA mean to you?
AJ: Growing up, I went to both the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club. It’s important for me to still work and be involved with both groups so that kids like myself and countless others receive the same opportunities that are offered at these great public facilities. These are places where lifetime friendships begin.
M&F:Baseball players are known to be pretty superstitious. Do you have any pre-game rituals?
AJ: I eat a bowl of watermelon before a game. I also take a shower exactly one hour before first pitch, so at 6:05 pm if it’s a 7:05 pm game.
M&F: Is there anything you are looking to improve upon personally for this upcoming season?
AJ: This season, I want to become better. As in a better teammate, player, friend, and most importantly a husband and father. I let the game happen.
M&F: What do you like to do in your free time?
AJ: In my free time, I like to relax and get off these sad puppies I call “feet.” I do lot of running in centerfield and on the base paths, so in my down time I aim to simply relax.