Stretch limousines don’t usually pull up in front of Target. However, this was different.
On Wednesday afternoon, two families were taken on an hour-long shopping spree at the Pikesville, Maryland Target. Their host was Adam Jones.
Jones hosted the families, one with four children, the other with three. They were located with the assistance of the Baltimore City Schools, for some Christmas shopping.
The families shopped for clothes, toys and games. Jones, who makes his off-season home in San Diego, was in Baltimore for a few days to look for an in-season house.
“It’s something that’s small, but big,” Jones said of his afternoon.
When a television reporter said that were a million things he could be doing, Jones retorted:
“There’s a million people who need help,” Jones said. “Baltimore has blessed me. I could be doing a million other things, but this is more gratifying.”
His charitable work in Baltimore is nearly as well-chronicled as his on-field exploits.
“It’s about giving back. As professional athletes, it’s part of our responsibility,” Jones said.
Jones admitted to being unnerved by the cameras, saying he would have preferred to have private time with the families.
“I don’t owe it to anyone to do what I’m doing, but it’s my duty. If I want to be a figure in this city, these are small steps,” Jones said.
Nichelle Henson and her four children were one of the families shopping with Jones. She admitted that she wasn’t much of a baseball fan, and didn’t know much about Jones, but two of her children were outfitted in Orioles’ T-shirts with the familiar No. 10.
“I was shocked. It was unexpected. I was excited. I was appreciative they are helping out families because we really, really needed it this year,” Henson said.
The Orioles will be taking the families to a game next season
It’s been a busy off-season for Jones, who tweeted pictures of a recent vacation in Nevis. He had his first postseason experience, and he liked it.
“There’s nothing better than playing exciting games in September,” he believes.
The Orioles Jones will begin spring training with in February aren’t going to be the same.
“One thing about [manager Buck] Showalter. Whatever moves he’s making, I’m sure he has an idea. The people that come on our team are probably going to fit,” he said.
“We’re probably not going to spend $100 million this off-season. We might. Who knows? I don’t know. I feel we’re going to add some pieces that fit the team.”
The off-season isn’t halfway over, but Jones, who signed a five-year extension last May, is already making plans for 2013.
“Three weeks less of an off-season, which is good, but I guess I got the hunger, too. I want to play baseball for some reason. I want to be back with the band of brothers and put forth another great effort,” Jones said.
“I got that little taste. I need a plate full of it now.”