Tappy Takes On Ex-Met

Seven On Your Side
November 5, 2008 2:46:04 PM PST
He was a baseball star from New Jersey who made it all the way to the big leagues, even played with the Mets for a couple of seasons. But now, one former fan says the hometown hero owes him big bucks. In spring training 2000, Mets had a confusing situation, two pitchers both named Bobby Jones on their roster. Fans probably remember righthander, Bobby Jones. The less prominent, lefty by the same name, not so much.

Now out of professional baseball, the former Met runs a travel baseball team in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Last spring, 16 year old Ryan Weinberg signed up for Jones' team, the South Bergen Mets. His parents paid $950. But at the first practice Ryan says, "They (Coach Jones) were screaming. They were picking us out. They were really being tough."

Ryan has been playing baseball since he was old enough to hold a bat. He says he's had his share of tough coaches. "They've yelled," Ryan says. "But nothing to the level of this."

After just one practice, the 16 year old quit the team.

Ryan's dad talked to his son, "No amount of cajoling on my part could get them to change their minds and Ryan, just said, 'Look, I'd rather not play with this team, dad.'"

So Ryan's father tried to get at least part of his money back. "If he had to charge me $100 for some coaching fee or something like that, that's also perhaps understandable," says Randy Weinberg.

Ryan's dad says Jones promised to refund his money. But months went by with no payment.

So, we went to Jones's house. We found only his grandmother home. But after our visit?

Randy Weinberg says, "I received a check from Mr. Bobby Jones." The amount was $600. It wasn't the full amount, but it was still more than the Weinbergs ever expected.

Randy says, "We're just glad that this saga, chapter is finally come to an end."

Bobby Jones spoke to us by phone. He said he did promise the refund, but says he held it up because he felt Ryan quit on the team. Jones also feels he wasn't overly tough on Ryan.


Story by: Tappy Phillips

Produced by: Steve Livingstone