Chipper Jones has been a Brave for a very long time. He is approaching 40. His knees are starting to resemble the Bionic Man. He is beloved by Braves fans. He is STILL the man.
Over the series with the Brewers, Chipper Jones showed why he is STILL the man and why Braves fans love him so much. He had his knee drained of fluid after it was too swollen to play on and then he promptly returned and hit long balls over and over again to ruin the Brewers chances of winning. The fans know he plays with pain a lot of days. The fans know he could have quit a few years ago. The fans know he could have signed with another team at so many points in his career. The fans know that when he steps to the plate or mans the hot corner, he is going to give it everything he’s got. Chipper Jones is STILL the man.
Over the many years I have watched the Braves, almost 40 now, I have seen great players come and go. There was Hank Aaron, Dale Murphy, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and many others. I was a fan when Chipper took his first swing as a Brave and I am watching now as he takes some of his last. Through all the years he has been with the team, he has shown nothing but heart. And talent. He plays at 110% even when his body isn’t there. He is a certain Hall of Famer when his career is done. But his legacy of being loyal to his team and to his fans is something that will live on well past baseball records and homerun highlights.
In this day and age of business before baseball, Chipper has shown something that very few now do. Loyalty. From the players and from the teams. If a player can get more money, he’s out the door. If a team can shed salary space or get another player they want more, he’s out the door. The fans for the most part never figure into the equation. There are a few exceptions. Derek Jeter, Todd Helton and of course the man Chipper Jones. These players are unique in today’s baseball world and that makes them all the more special.
Chipper Jones is STILL the man. He has a .417 batting average in 3 games and 12 at bats at almost 40 years of age on knees that are on their last go round. He is special in a world of talent. He is special in the hearts of millions of fans. Chipper Jones is STILL the man and he always will be.