Andruw Jones was born on April 23, 1977 in Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. At the age of sixteen, he was already being signed into the Atlanta Braves franchise as a free agent. Three years later, in 1996, he was brought up to the majors. On August 15, 1996, he made his Major League Baseball debut for the Atlanta Braves despite only being 19 years old.
Despite his youth and inexperience, it did not take long for the Braves to realize the potential of Andruw Jones. On October 20, 1996, he made his first start in a World Series when the Braves met the New York Yankees. He hit a home run in his first at-bat making him the youngest player ever to hit a home run in the World Series. In his second World Series at-bat, he followed up with another home run.
In 1997, Andruw Jones became the starting right fielder for the Braves. Unfortunately, his season was not exactly what the Braves were looking for as he finished with a .231 batting average. The following year he was moved to center field where he found his rhythm. During the 1998 season, he batted .271, hit 31 home runs, and had 27 stolen bases. His natural ability to play defense became obvious during that season as he captured his first Gold Glove Award. He would follow that by winning the Gold Glove Award seven more times in a row.
The 2000 season became Andruw Jones’ best season of his career as he batted .303, hit 36 home runs, and had 104 RBI. He was also named to his first All-Star Team during the 2000 season. Although his numbers were typically lower over the next few seasons, he remained one of the top players in baseball.
It wasn’t until 2005 that Andruw Jones had another one of his outstanding seasons. The 2005 season saw Andruw Jones collect 51 home runs, an all-time record for the Braves franchise. He also led the National League in RBI with 128. His impressive statistics at the plate and outstanding defense pushed him all the way up to second in the 2005 National League MVP vote, finishing just behind Albert Pujols.
During Andruw Jones’ career he has collected many other honors and awards. He has been named to the All-Star Team in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006. He won the National League Silver Slugger Award for Center Field in 2005. In 2005, he also won the National League Hank Aaron Award as the top offensive player and the Major League Player of the Year Award.