Monday, March 12, 2012

chipper jones: we love you

Chipper along with Glavin and Smoltz are the guys that helped me develop my love for the game of baseball. I vividly recall taking my daughter to watch Tommy Glavin pitch what turned out to be his last professional start at single A Rome. He got lit up that night and the Braves released the next day to make room in the rotation for Tommy Hanson. After reading Chipper comments ( tonight I hope he is able to go out on his terms with the dignity that a Hall of Fall player deserves.

I have watched a ton of the power hitters in today’s game like Fielder, Stanton, and Howard but none of them have a swing like Old Number 10. His swing is like none other that I have ever seen; form either side of the plate he is just, sweet...REAL SWEET.  Last year, after coming back at age 39, from a devastating knee injury hit .275 with 18 and 70 and made the NL All Star Team. As Jim Powell would say "solid." But beyond the stats Chipper has always conducted himself with the kind of class that makes us proud too be fans of the Atlanta Braves. Last August my wife and I went to the Ted to celebrate my birthday and a few rows over a soldier that was leaving for Iraq was spending his last night state side watching the ball game. I don't recall which inning, but it was late in the game when an usher hand delivered Chipper's signed game worn batting gloves. Then as he walked on to the field Chipper turned to face the stands where the solder was sitting stood at attention and gave the solider a salute and mouthed the words "thank you." I and the crowd around us that understood the situation were genuinely touched. This is the kind of stuff that makes baseball special, and Chipper is the kind of man that understands the heritage and stewardship of the game. I don't remember who won that game but I will always remember that moment.

Chipper is going to the hall five years after he retires, but let us all hope that he is able to take the field in April, July, September, and cross your fingers October. Tonight though, I would have to say that's doughtful at best. So for all you guys that don't follow the Bravos I would like to encourage you strongly to see Number 10 play a few games before he hangs up his spikes. Even if he goes 0 for 4 with an error 5 you will get a chance to witness that once in a life time swing. Cherish it: it won't be around much longer.

Thank you, Chipper Jones. I truly wish you the very best.

Here are some Old Number 10's Stats according to
Career Batting Average .304
Home Runs 454
1999 MVP
7 time All Star
1999, 2000 Silver Slugger
2008 Batting Average .364
Played in 11 nlds, 6 nlcs, 3 ws
WS Champ

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