By: Brian Krosky
Cooper Jones and Chuckie Robinson are from completely different backgrounds.
Jones is a relief pitcher from Pensacola, Florida, who won back-to-back state championships while in high school, and a current pitcher for the Albany Dutchmen.
Robinson is a catcher from Danville, Illinois who had never made it past regionals in high school, and had a father and a grandfather who both played in the MLB, is a current catcher for the Tri-City ValleyCats.
They both came into the Southern Mississippi baseball program as freshman with aspiring professional careers in baseball.
Wednesday afternoon at Joseph L. Bruno stadium in an exhibition game between the Tri-City ValleyCats and the Albany Dutchmen, they met up on the field as opponents, roommates, and life-long friends.
“I figured out yesterday we were playing the exhibition game against the Astros Club, and I knew Chuckie got drafted by them,” Jones said.
As soon as he heard that his team, the Albany Dutchmen, would be playing the Single-A short season affiliate of the Houston Astros, he grabbed his phone and texted Chuckie to let him know the news.
“It was pretty cool,” Jones said.
Robinson, who was drafted in the 21st round of this past weekend’s MLB draft, was getting his first taste of Capital Region baseball as he suited up for the ValleyCats.
Although they wouldn’t be going head-to-head on the diamond, because Jones had pitched in Tuesday night’s game against the Amsterdam Mohawks, they were still able to meet up before first pitch to catch up.
The obvious talking point? Congratulating Robinson on being drafted into the MLB.
“It was amazing,” Robinson said on getting the call from the Astros. “It’s what I’ve worked for my whole life. When I got the call, it was a surreal moment. I’m happy I got drafted.”
Jones said that he was just as happy to hear about his best friend having a chance to play baseball professionally, along with two of their fellow teammates Jake Winston and Tim Lynch.
“It was awesome, I was happy for every one of them,” Jones said. “Playing with the guys lover the years, they become a family. He’s been my roommate since day 1, we’re basically best friends. It was a good feeling.”
“He showed me love and everything,” Robinson said on Jones reaching out to him after being drafted. “We’ve been roommates since freshman year of college. That’s my boy for life.”
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