Why Andruw Jones Belongs in the Hall of Fame

Andruw Jones always showed a penchant for playing above his age. In 1996, when he was 19, he became the youngest player ever to hit a home run in a World Series game. The circumstances were extraordinary; his Braves were looking to repeat as champions against the Yankees. It was his first at bat in Game 1. He was facing Andy Pettitte, who one day would be renowned for his postseason heroics. It was what would’ve been the 65th birthday of Mickey Mantle, who previously set the record as a 20-year-old Yankee in the 1952 World Series.

But none of that fazed Jones. It didn’t faze him his next time up, either, when he homered off Brian Boehringer to become the second player in MLB history to round the bases in each of his first two World Series at bats.

Perhaps the teenage Jones was so unaffected by Yankee Stadium’s bright lights that night because he’d always been ahead of the age curve. By the time he was a 13-year-old growing up in Willemstad, Curacao, he was playing against other adults on his father’s team.

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