Prior to the end of the 1976 season, the Kansas City Royals had a 21 year old prospect named Ruppert Jones. He showed that he had some potential with the playing time he was given in the end of that 1976 season. The Royals decided to leave him unprotected in the expansion draft that off season, and he was taken by the Mariners with their first pick in the draft. Ruppert would be the starting center fielder for the Mariners in that first season, being elected as the Mariners only All Star representative in the Bronx that season.
Mr. Jones would become the first Mariners fan that the fans could cling to in those early days. In the Kingdome you would commonly hear what you thought were boos, but the fans were calling "RUUUPE." Ruppert would gibe the Mariners great numbers on a fairly poor team for three years through the 1979 season. After that third year, the Mariners dealt Ruppert to the Yankees with Jim Lewis for Rick Anderson, Jim Beattie, Juan Beniquez, and Jerry Narron. Mr. Jones would make it a year in NY before getting dealt to the Padres. Three years in San Diego would see Rupe move to Detroit in 1984 for a season, only to defeat his old team in the World Series. Mr. Jones would finally become a California Angel in 1985, and play his final three years in Southern California before riding off into the sunset on his baseball career.