We found out yesterday that the Padres’ first star, Randy Jones, has completed 90% of his treatment for throat cancer. Only close friends knew that he’d been diagnosed and was battling the disease until then. The legendary lefty says he’s feeling positive but admits that the radiation and chemotherapy have been tough.
"It's a tough grind, but I have to get it done. Food right now tastes terrible. I've lost 10 pounds. But I'm following orders. They tell me what to do and I do it. I'm on a 'keep it simple, stupid' program. I just say yes to all orders."
As for the cause, doctors says it is directly linked to his tobacco use, of which he has used in one form or another most of his life. He chewed as a player, smoked cigars as an adult and dipped the last 9 years.
His hope is to be recovered and in uniform during Spring Training with the Pads.
The great thing about Randy Jones, and the thing I love, is he’s always been the Padre who is the most accessible. If you go to Petco Park, there’s probably a 50-50 chance you’ll run into him there, either working one of his food stands or the pre-game show. When he owned his BBQ place in Hazard Center, he was always there too. Not only is he present but he’s the ultimate team ambassador. He’s everything you could want in a representative for your ball club. Fans know him to be very friendly, gracious and always willing to give his time to interact.
For Padres fans, the specter of a cancer diagnosis immediately brings up memories of Tony Gwynn’s suffering and death. There’s definitely been a sense of relief in Randy’s confidence that he’s on the mend.
Some of the good that came out of the announcement was that so many reached out to Randy to let him know how much we care for him. Among all the fans were some Padres of the present and past.
Pulling for you, RJ. I'm positive you will beat this and looking forward to you joining us in Peoria.— Trevor Hoffman (@THoffman51) January 26, 2017
All the best to our pal @RJBBQ35. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you RJ! #howsyourpersonality— Mark Grant (@Mudcat55) January 26, 2017
@RJBBQ35 thoughts and prayers are with you brother. I'll see you soon!— Ryan Schimpf (@Ryan_Schimpf) January 27, 2017
Randy really appreciated the heart felt messages.
I'd like to to thank all of you that have reached out to me. Your response has been overwhelming to me. You know I won't stop until I win.— Randy Jones (@RJBBQ35) January 27, 2017
He’s scheduled to be at the Celebrate SD Rally on February 11, because he wouldn’t miss it.