CHESAPEAKE, Va. - In 2013, Connor Jones chose against fulfilling his dream as a professional ballplayer. It was that year when the Great Bridge High School product was the top-ranked high school baseball player in Virginia and selected by the San Diego Padres in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball Draft.
Jones instead opted to go to college, and as a result, accomplished not only his dream of going pro, but even more than he could have ever imagined.
"I still don't think it's really hit me. A hall of fame is a pretty big deal," Jones said about officially becoming a hall of famer. On Thursday night, he was inducted into the University of Virginia's Baseball Hall of Fame.
He pitched for the Cavaliers from 2014-16 and was a key part of the program's first ever College World Series title. Although, despite putting together an impressive resume as a Wahoo, Jones tells us that he wouldn't have believed you back then if you you told him he'd be immortalized in UVA baseball history.
"I would believe you in the sense that our team might be put in there, but as far as an individual, there was still a lot left," Jones said. "I was just a fill-in in the starting rotation for that year, so that would've been really hard to believe. Collectively as a team, I would have said sure, look what we just did.
"It's crazy. The more and more I talk to people about it, the more it kinda sets in and it's just really cool."
MLB came calling again following Jones's time as a Cavalier, but this time, his draft stock was much higher. He was taken in the second round, 70th overall, by the St. Louis Cardinals.
On Wednesday night, he may celebrate his past success, but he also takes time to plan for his success to come in the pros.
"I would say be as consistent as possible through everything," Jones said about his goals for the upcoming season. "Physically, mentally, all aspects of playing and performing. Second, I would say just continue to grow and keep a positive mindset through all that, constantly trying to get better and I think in doing so, that can be really big for your mindset and your attitude and your outlook. You can find success in achieving those."
Success that can all be traced back to the 757, where his baseball journey began.