Former Met Cleon Jones looks to revitalize historic Africatown community

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023
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Former New York Mets all-star outfielder Cleon Jones is now 80, but he's proving you're never too old to make a difference.

Jones caught the last out as the 1969 Miracle Mets won the World Series, part of the championship team that was built in New York.

Now the former outfielder is looking to rebuild a community in need, his hometown of Africatown, just north of Mobile, Alabama, through his Last Out Foundation

"When I came up in this community, there was about 14,000 people in this community, now it's only about 2,000, this is where my wife, my family we chose to come back to live because of the historic significance of Africatown," he said.

The former Met is getting a helping hand from fellow New Yorkers. The Heart 9/11 Group (Healing Emergency Aid Response Team) made up of 9/11 first responders heard about Jones' efforts and wanted to help.

"This one is a true community, and it is in crisis because of the obvious problems with the homes, deferred maintenance as the residents get older," said Jim Earl of Heart 9/11.

This week, a team of 30 first responders joined the Mets legend to help in the rebuild.

"We do a lot of varied stuff, part of it is we heal ourselves because we're all hurting and scars and the effects of 9-11," Earl said.

"We're thankful that after 50 years, they can remember the last catch, not only remember but reach out in a way that can help this community revitalize itself in a positive way," Jones said.


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