Jones began fidgeting with the thumb guard in center field in an attempt to break an innocent habit.
Mandy Sorenson | College Baseball Today
Jones began fidgeting with the thumb guard in center field in an attempt to break an innocent habit.
OMAHA, Neb. -- If you watch TCU baseball games on television, you’ll probably notice centerfielder Cody Jones, the team’s leader in batting average, stolen bases and runs scored.

But you’ll also probably notice Jones drop a small object to the ground when a ball is hit in his direction, make the play and then go back to retrieve the object once the play is over.

When asked about his centerfielder’s attempt to break an innocent habit, TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle quickly rolled his eyes.

 “It wasn’t supposed to get anything like this,” Jones said about fidgeting with his thumb guard while waiting for a play in center. “It was something so that I could quit a bad habit while I was in the field.”

The habit?

Biting his fingernails, often to the point where he would bleed.

“I was like, ‘You know what, I need to do something else,’” Jones said. “I started that and just slowly people started noticing, blowing it up.”

Schlossnagle’s reaction to Jones’ remedy to his habit wasn’t extreme, but he did admit he’d rather see as little of the thumb guard -- which Twitter rumors to have its own name: Gary -- as he can.

“I’m not a big fan of that,” Schlossnagle said. “But there’s never really been a play that I thought he should’ve made that he didn’t because of that thing.”

Jones proved that Schlossnagle and the rest of the TCU ballclub should have nothing to worry about in the Frog’s College World Series opener when he made a play charging in on a single and cut down LSU's Jared Foster at the plate with a strike from about 250 feet.

“I have no idea how that started,” Schlossnagle said. “If I did, I would’ve shortcut it, but I didn’t realize it until we were too far in, including last year.”

To this point, Jones’ thumb guard -- which is actually a "Pro Hitter," a tool that serves a more constructive than protective purpose -- has garnered national attention, especially when the Horned Frogs play in front of the HD cameras on ESPN, which Jones understands, really doesn't miss a thing.

“Yeah, those are incredible, huh?”