Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones – also known as ‘Prez’ Jones – who was Grambling State University’s second president and first baseball coach, will have this weekend by getting his jersey number 30 retired.
Jones was not only the second president of Grambling State University, he also founded the university’s baseball team and became their first head coach. Jones coached Tigers for 51 seasons to a record of 816-218 while leading the Tigers to six Midwest Atlantic League titles, five Southwestern Athletic Conference titles, and four national National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics baseball tournaments.
The Tigers were runners-up in two of those NAIA baseball tournaments. Coach Jones won seven conference titles and won NAIA coach of the year in 1967.
Jones produced 11 All-Americans including coaching MLB legend Ralph Garr, who won the National League Batting Title in 1974.
He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1964, the SWAC Hall of Fame in 1992, and the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011.
The man first known as “Prez” at GSU is also credited with creating the World Famed Tiger Marching Band.
A jersey retirement ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. today on Wilbert Ellis Field at RWE Jones Park before the Tigers’ baseball team opens its SWAC season against Southern University at 6 p.m.
Jones’ grandson Ernest Jones will throw out the opening pitch before game two between Southern and Grambling at 3 p.m. on Saturday.