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All-Star closer, former Pusch Ridge Christian baseball coach Doug Jones dies at 64
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All-Star closer, former Pusch Ridge Christian baseball coach Doug Jones dies at 64

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Doug Jones, 46, Cleveland Indians, shown in an undated photo. (AP Photo)

CLEVELAND — Doug Jones, a five-time All-Star reliever who had his best success closing for the Cleveland Indians before coaching Pusch Ridge Christian's  baseball team to a state title, has died. He was 64.

Jones died Saturday night of complications from COVID-19, according to a social media post from Pusch Ridge Christian's alumni group. Former big-leaguer Greg Swindell tweeted that Jones, a longtime friend, teammate, husband, father, grandfather "and one hell of a pitcher … has passed from complications from COVID."

Jones spent seven seasons with the Indians and ranks third on the club's career saves list with 129. The club, which officially transitioned to Cleveland Guardians last week, said Monday it was “saddened by the loss of one of our organization's all-time greats.”

Jones coached Pusch Ridge to the 2009 Class 2A state baseball championship. His son, Dawson, was the winning pitcher. That year, the Star's Greg Hansen named both Joneses to his list of the top 100 sports figures in Southern Arizona.

In two seasons (2007-08) at Pusch Ridge, Jones went 44-7 overall 26-2 in league play. Jones went on serve as the pitching coach at San Diego Christian College and with the minor-league Boise Hawks, a Colorado Rockies affiliate.

Known as “Jonesy,” Jones pitched in the majors for 16 seasons with Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee and Oakland. He had two stints with the Indians, first from 1986-91 and again in 1998.

The right-hander had a career-high 43 saves in 1990 for Cleveland, where he made the All-Star team three times. In 2001, he was selected as one of the team's top 100 players.

Jones went 69-79 with a 3.30 ERA in 846 big league games. He retired following the 2000 season.

Born in Covina, California, Jones was drafted by the Brewers in 1978.

Jones is survived by his wife, Deb, and sons Dustin, Dylan and Dawson. All three of Jones' children were Pusch Ridge graduates.

Includes information from the Associated Press.

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