N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--May 1998

JDM Inducted Into Baseball Hall of Fame

NEWTON — When you hear the words "Baseball Hall of Fame," great icons of the game such as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson immediately come to mind. Now it’s time to add one more name to that list - Jeff Joines.

Joines, the judicial district manager for the Division of Adult Probation and Parole’s Judicial District 25-B, was recently inducted into the N.C. American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame. While it’s not the National Baseball Hall of Fame which honors the best Major League baseball has to offer, in Caldwell County where American Legion baseball is almost a religion, it’s pretty darn close.

As the voice of American Legion’s Post 29 baseball team in Caldwell County, Joines played a major role in the county’s baseball legacy. For more than 18 years, Joines attended Post 29’s games, providing play-by-play coverage for the fans listening at home on the radio.

"I’ve traveled all over the state to broadcast games back to the community," he said. "It was amazing the number of people that would listen to the games on the radio. Back when the team was traveling a lot, people used to gather in parking lots in shopping centers and at the community college in Hudson and would have tailgate parties while listening to the game on the radio."

To show their appreciation for all his hard work, Post 29 nominated Joines for induction into the Legion’s Hall of Fame. Out of 11 nominees, Joines and four others were selected for the honor.

"I’m truly humbled by this," he said. "I’m not a member of the American Legion, and it’s very unusual for someone not being a member to be singled out for this honor. I’m very proud of it."

Radio broadcasting is a hobby for Joines that started back when he was in high school. "While I was in high school, I found out that I would be better off doing something other than playing sports," he said. "I’m not gifted athletically."

Joines continued doing local broadcasts while he was in college at Appalachian State University. He had planned to go into teaching following graduation, but his experiences as a student teacher convinced him otherwise, so instead, Joines decided to pursue a career as a probation officer.

While waiting for a position to open in Caldwell County, Joines fell back on his broadcasting skills and went to work for the local radio station in Lenoir for five years as the news and sports director.

Joines eventually landed his first job with the Department of Correction in 1977 as a probation and parole officer. Through the years, as he was promoted to chief probation and parole officer and then to judicial district manager, Joines continued to call games on the side.

"The department was gracious enough to let me carry on at the radio station," he said. "It continued on more as a hobby."

Soon after becoming judicial district manager in 1995, Joines decided to quit doing the broadcasts for Post 29 in order to spend more time with his wife, Rita, and their two sons, Justin and Wesley.

"I tried to keep doing the Legion games after I became JDM, but I was finding that I was away from home 100 nights a year," he said. "As much as I love baseball, I felt like I could no longer make that kind of a commitment with my responsibilities at work and home."

Despite giving up the American Legion games, Joines didn’t completely give up his hobby. He can still be heard on WHKY doing the play-by-play for Lenoir-Rhyne football and basketball games.

And who knows, maybe one day when he finds that he has a little more time on his hands, Joines may return as the voice of Post 29. u

NC DOC Correction News- May 1998
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