This is kind of a long story so I’m going to need you to stick with me throughout this one
So today let’s learn about good Old Bumpus Jones. Old Bumpus Jones or other known as Charles Jones was born on January 1st, 1870 yeah were going way back for this story. So, our story starts in 1891 Jones had signed with the Illinois-Iowa league he opened his season with the Ottumwa Packers which infuriated the owners of the Aurora Maroons because they claimed to owned his rights from a stint in 1890 where he went 12-10. Bumpus Jones started his 1891 off hot going 3-0 then Aurora’s complaint was heard, and Bumpus was suspended pending league action. In late May Jones was forced to return to Aurora they had a record of 3-18 when Jones got there. He lost his first start back to the Joliet Giants, then Jones went out in his next starts got 3 wins in a row. After that things just went straight downhill for the Aurora Maroons their manager quit and they kept losing after that. Then one day good Old Bumpus Jones went out for his start versus the league-leading Quincy Ravens. Jones gave up 6 hits versus Quincy ok that sounds normal, right? Well, his teammates made 11 errors and allowed 9 unearned runs! the Maroons Ultimately lost and the team disbands not even a day later. Just Hours later Jones signed with the Quincy Ravens and struck out 14 in his Quincy debut versus the Joliet Giants. Then the Ottumwa Packers claimed they owned his rights for the second time the league stepped in and good Old Bumpus Jones was forced to go to the Ottumwa Packers, then after wasting Jones time they sold him to Portland for $200 which is worth about roughly 5,720 now. Jones went 5-6 for Portland, Portland later clinched a pennant and released Jones, he compiled 20 wins for the year.
So, now you know about Bumpus Jones and this is where our story starts to kick off. So, next year Jones joined the Joliet Giants as he went back to the Illinois-Iowa league. At the end of June Jones went 15-0 with 6 shutouts. But yet another hill for Bumpus Jones to climb the league was unstable and teams started to fold and in early August the Joliet Giants folded. Bumpus Jones later signed with Atlanta of the Southern Association. He also took a cash advance from Montgomery of the same league. For the second he found himself suspended. Jones later return the money to Montgomery and after two weeks would report to Atlanta. He debuted on September 1st, but lost on a ninth inning home run. Atlanta disbanded on September 20th, with Jones having recorded a 3-4 record.
Ok now if that doesn't interest you maybe this will. One October day The Cincinnati Red Stockings were coming to play an exhibition versus the local Ohio team called the Clintons and good Old Bumpus Jones was going to play. Jones played outfield most of the game and came into pitch in the 7th innings and Jones didn’t allow the Reds to record a hit. So, Hall Famer and Reds Player/Manager Charles Comiskey did the normal thing anyone would do after a 22-year-old who has played in the MLB before absolutely embarrassed his 82-68 team, he invited him to pitch the reds final game of the season. So, let me set the scene It’s Saturday, October 15th, 1892 the final day of the regular season the mound is 55ft away from home plate. A then Young Bumpus Jones nervously took the mound and walk the first two batters then he got a double play. Jones walked the first batter then got a lucky double play in the top of the second, and in the bottom of the second, the reds took the lead. Once again Jones walked the first batter but got a lucky double play. Now you're probably wondering why does all of this matter because Good Old Bumpus Jones THREW A NO-HITTER, Bumpus Jones had done the unthinkable he threw a No-Hitter in his MLB debut. The Pittsburgh Pirates were Old Bumpus Jones victims. Now he wasn't perfect Jones walked 4 and an error that leads to an unearned run. the final was 7-1 and with the final out, Jones had done he did it he was the first-ever player making his MLB debut to throw a new hitter. According to sabermetrician Bill James, Jones edges out Holloman for the distinction of mathematically least likely pitcher ever to have thrown a no-hitter in the major leagues. After that, the Reds offered Jones a contract to come back next year but after his no-hitter, Jones only made 7 more appearances before being cut by and reds and having a 1 game stint with the New York Giants.
Charles “Bumpus” Jones wasn’t a Hall of Famer and he didn’t even have a mediocre career. No instead Bumpus Jones was a real feel-good story about a 22-year-old who teams kept folding and he thought he might not play baseball again until he was given a chance by Charles Comiskey and he proved himself at least for one game.
In 2016 Dodgers Rookie Ross Stripling was 5 outs away before Dave Roberts pulled him so close to history. So I thought 128 years later it would be good to write an article celebrating the late great Bumpus Jones.
If you read this whole article thank you it took a lot of work and research. If you want to check out Foolish Baseball’s Video on Old Hoss Radbourn it gave me the idea for this article.