Hosmer's Timely Gift

March 1, 2018

Randy Jones probably doesn’t need a Rolex watch. 


The great Padres’ lefty and 1976 NL Cy Young Award winner isn’t into all that fancy stuff in the first place. He’d just as soon tell time with a sun dial.


But that doesn’t mean a sparkling, new Rolex isn’t a nicer-than-nice gift. And Jones, if he looks back on it, might have received one from new Padre Eric Hosmer had he been willing to un-retire the No. 35 that he made famous in San Diego, and allowed the freshly-minted  Padre star to don the number he had been comfortable wearing while with the champion Royals in Kansas City.


Glenn Hoffman, the Padres’ third-base coach, was just an innocent bystander in all of this, following the much ballyhooed Hosmer signing by the Padres a couple of weeks ago. But now the Rolex belongs to him.


Eric Hosmer continues to ooze nothing but class since signing the richest deal in Padres’ history, an 8-year, $144-million package, extolled on him to not only play an All-Star caliber first base, but also to lead the young Padres out of the doldrums and into contention – sooner rather than later – in the National League West.


Hosmer, on the field, delivered an RBI single in his first spring game. He already has delivered far more than that off the field. Every time he speaks, the message is clear: “We did it in Kansas City, and we can do it in San Diego.” 


He bought the entire team t-shirts with the message “Hot Talent Lava” on them. His agent Scott Boras had described the Padres’ organization as such the day Hosmer signed. Again the message from Hosmer was clear to his new teammates: “We will all do this together.”


Now he has taken care of his new third base coach. Nobody expected Jones to allow No. 35 to worn again, nor should they have. Hosmer, instead, was hoping to wear No. 30 to honor his former teammate in K.C., pitcher Yordano Ventura, killed in auto accident last off-season. But No. 30 was Hoffman’s number.


Trevor’s brother had no problem parting with it, replacing it with No. 26, and Hosmer was all set. Though Hoffman asked for nothing in exchange for the gesture, Hosmer surprised him anyway, handing him the Rolex at the team’s Peoria Sports Complex just the other day.


A timely gift if ever there was one.