Longtime Vanderbilt baseball fan Danny Jones, more commonly known as “Goose,” died Tuesday morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was 70 years old.
After battling cancer for over 20 years, Jones was hospitalized and later admitted into hospice care over the weekend.
“Jones was well known around SEC baseball, but especially at Vanderbilt,” Debbie Jones said Tuesday. “When he was admitted into Vanderbilt University Medical Center over the weekend, some of the hospital staff recognized him as the beloved Commodores fan. Unsolicited, they identified him as ‘Goose’ on his medical chart.”
Following the news of his death, Debbie shared a thoughtful post on Facebook in remembrance of her husband.
“There are no tears in heaven,” Debbie wrote. “Please keep Caycee, Dee Dee, and myself in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days. There will never be another Danny Goose Jones.”
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Several other family members and friends also reflected on the positive memories with Goose over the years following Vanderbilt baseball games and his best moments with the Commodores after his death.
Jones’ daughter Dee Dee shared photos of Goose’s hospital bed surrounded by a 2023 Vandy baseball schedule poster signed by coach Tim Corbin and the roster, and explained what Vanderbilt meant to him.
“If you know my Dad, you know his love for Vanderbilt athletics was unbreakable…” Dee Dee wrote on Facebook. “There will never be another Goose Jones.”
Corbin and Vanderbilt baseball also shared statements on Jones’ death, remembering him as one of the Vandy Boys’ biggest supporters.
What a wonderful kind man. He loved our boys and program at the highest level. Many trips, many miles and heart of gold. He’s been through a lot. May he find eternal peace and comfort. Our program prays for his family and all that loved him.
— Tim Corbin (@TimCorbin) February 7, 2023
Preacher Franklin, also known as one of the two Vandy Whistlers, also shared his condolences for the Jones family and memories on their close friendship.
Vanderbilt players knew Jones simply as “Goose.” They saw him dance above the dugout, wave a Vandy Boys banner to spark a rally and shout instructions with a voice unlike any other in the ballpark. He was famously recognized for driving round-trip to every game in Nashville from his home in Henderson.
Before establishing himself in the Vanderbilt fandom, Jones played college baseball at Lambuth, and he was a star basketball player at Chester County High School. He first earned his nickname after “Goose” Tatum, the former Harlem Globetrotter.
He coached football, basketball and baseball during a 40-year career as a science and physical education teacher in Chester County. Jones was also a referee and umpire for many years, working high school state championship games in football and baseball. He retired from teaching in 2013, leaving more time to focus on his health and his beloved Commodores.
USA TODAY Network sports reporter Adam Sparks contributed to this report.