January 28, 2022

Human Lightning Rod throws strikes at Masters

Rockford, Illinois

Mark Jones, of Champagne, Illinois is the Human lightning rod that pitches for Nohren Farms/Texas Stars 50’s at the Midwest Masters this weekend in Rockford, Illinois.
In 1994, at a ballfield in villa grove, illinois playing decatur merchants in a 14 inning game they won, he was in between games during a dh, standing under a tree having a brew like any other day. There were clear skies and no lightning or thunder in sight, and he had just sent kids home with mom and it started sprinkling lightly, he added, “I heard this loud crack bang…and I was pretty sure I had been hit by lightning but when I looked up I had been thrown 20 feet. I thought about the stories of people having their feet blown off, so I drug myself(with no feeling and numb from the waist down) to the dugout . I sat up turned around and saw my feet were still there and I was the happiest person in the world.”  Encouraged by teammates, players and fans to go to the emergency room, he did, and took 30 minutes to get the  feeling back in his feet. He was told later that a squirrel fell out of the tree dead, but he lived and he felt sad about the squirrel that it had died but great to be alive himself. He spent 2 hrs at the emergency room…yes they called off second game of dh. The  next day he had blisters on his big toes. He was wearing steel spikes and the bolt went to the tree and then through his shoulder and out through his feet. A white flash appeared as his mind shut down…2 years later  he got arthritis but is not sure if it was related. The silver lining to this rain cloud…his  friends say it helped him focus in his life and has helped him enjoy life and pay more attention to the important things and be less distracted by meaningless small issues. Oh and that was just the second time he was struck by lighting, the first time was in 1992 at his dads walking out of the tool shed, raining storm, big flash, pop bang, then his hair stood up all over his body. The bolt hit the electrical box and jumped to his arm, no sign of where it hit, no sign of injury. Now after these two incidents….friends and family run from him when clouds form…he is also the first one to shut down a field when thunder and lighting come around. Oh and besides throwing for the 5 time world champs, he also coaches a high school girls fastpitch team. He is quite a character and fun to talk to. When you see him at the ball park say high to him but remember if clouds form…..RUN….