Chad Jones: Former NY Giant Goes from Near-Death Car Crash to MLB Draft Pick

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Chad Jones: Former NY Giant Goes from Near-Death Car Crash to MLB Draft Pick
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

To say that Cincinnati Reds draft pick Chad Jones has had an interesting past would be a gross understatement.

Drafted in the ninth round of the 2013 MLB draft, Jones' future has never been clear, but for now, it appears that he finally found his place in baseball.

Unfortunately, 140 characters simply can't sum up everything that Jones has done, and even this tweet is less than half the story.

Coming out of high school, Jones was drafted in the 13th round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Houston Astros. However, he decided to attend LSU as a two-sport athlete.

As a member of the 2007 LSU football and 2009 LSU baseball teams that both won national championships, he is one of just two college athletes to win a title in both football and baseball.

Here he is dominating on the gridiron and on the diamond in the premier conference for each sport:

It looked like things were going right for Jones when he came out of LSU and the New York Giants selected him with the 76th overall pick in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft.

But the it all went downhill...and fast.

In June 2010, Jones was in an early-morning car accident. He crashed his Range Rover and needed to be cut out of the car. Unfortunately, he almost left something behind.

His leg.

That's right, Jones broke his leg in the crash and needed to undergo surgery to repair it. In fact, doctors almost had to amputate it, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News:

[Jones] lost control of his Range Rover and crashed into a pole in downtown New Orleans. His injuries were so severe, doctors nearly decided to amputate his left leg. At that moment, his NFL career seemed over.

It turned out that his NFL career was over after the accident, as the Giants released him two years later.

Jones tried to make a remarkable comeback, though, even running a 4.84 in the 40 yard dash on his 23rd birthday in October, 2011. The Giants stuck with him, but only until May, 2012, when they released him because, according to Dr. Scott Rodeo, a Giants associate team physician, he had 'residual sensory loss, muscle weakness, and tenuous soft tissue coverage in the involved lower leg (and) the resultant functional impairment precludes his ability to perform physically at the level required for professional football.'

Jones worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles in December and for the New Orleans Saints in January, but neither team was willing to sign him to a deal.

To his credit, Jones never gave up. There wasn't a second when he didn't think he could find his way back to professional sports.
As Ebenezer Samuel writes, he just picked up a bat one day and it reminded him of his passion for baseball:

The empty batting cage beckoned Chad Jones, just as it always has. He was trying to watch his son, Chad III, trying to ignore the wooden bat lying near the cage.

With his NFL career rapidly evaporating, Chad Jones couldn’t resist. So as everyone else watched the end of the children’s indoor baseball game on the other end of the Big Easy Sportsplex in New Orleans, Jones picked up the child-sized bat, asked a friend to throw to him, and started hitting.

There was a foul, and then another. And then it all came back.

Jones started hitting the ball the way he would have hit NFL receivers in another life — hard. And soon, a crowd formed around the batting cage, watching as the man who was once the New York Football Giants’ safety of the future walloped ball after ball with a tiny bat made for a child.

"I kind of got in a groove, saw the ball taking off,” Jones says. “And I guess that’s when I kind of started talking about baseball."

It turned out to be the right decision for this freak athlete.
Despite his physical setbacks and time away from the game, Jones picked up right where he left off.
As Chris Wesseling of NFL.com tells us, Jones eventually did give up his dream of playing in the NFL after picking up that child's bat, but he turned his attention to something else:

Nearly three years removed from the accident, Jones officially has ended his football comeback, Fletcher Mackel of WDSU-TV in New Orleans reported Thursday.

Jones now will turn his attention to pro baseball. A left-hander with a 91-mph fastball, Jones was a 13th-round pick by the Houston Astros coming out of high school. After helping LSU win the 2009 College World Series, he was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 50th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Jones passed up a potential MLB career when he was drafted by the Giants.

Well, he's been drafted again, and it looks like this time he'll finally pursue a career in baseball.

It's been a long, arduous journey for Jones, but he's finally realized his dream of playing professional sports.

Follow @JoshSchoch

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