In 1995 a rookie third baseman with an infectious grin and a hot bat helped the Braves win the World Series. Since then, Chipper has slowed up a bit but still loves the game, still kills the Mets every time he can, and is the lifeblood of the Atlanta Braves. Tuesday night we saw a brilliant defensive play at third base – and sadly that might be the last play we see from Chipper.
Various sources are reporting that Chipper is out for the season with a torn ACL. He was already thinking about retiring after this season, and he could very well decide not to come back. Who knows? I know I don’t, but I find myself reflecting on his career and realizing how rare of a player Chipper was.
How many other sluggers of his caliber have stayed in one city their entire life? How many stars have restructured their contracts to provide more flexibility to their team? How many great third basemen have moved to left field so the team could add offense where it was most easily found? How many stars have thought about retiring when their career starts to decline instead of denying it and trying to eek it out for a few more years?
Yes, he was a bit of an arrogant ass when he was younger. But that’s tempered with age and experience now, and his love for the game remains.
Chipper is a rare player – not just because he’s perhaps the best switch hitter that’s ever played or hits homers against the Mets even when he’s slumping against everyone else, but because he bent over backwards for a team that he made his. Chipper’s poured his heart out for us Atlanta Braves fans, and that’s something I’ll never forget.
Now get the surgery out of the way and go rehab that knee, Chipper. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of Mr. Larry Wayne Jones, Jr.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Chipper Jones, Injury Updates
Posted in Injuries | 6 Comments »