Retiring Chipper treated like star among All-Stars

KANSAS CITY — Chipper Jones drew a crowd of reporters and cameramen just about anytime he sat or stood stationary the past two days in Kansas City, where the Braves’ 40-year-old third baseman was treated like a cross between an aging rock star and visiting head of state.

He was the elder statesmen of all All-Stars in K.C., making his eighth and final All-Star appearance before he retires after the season. Jones was joined on the National League All-Star team by fellow Braves Dan Uggla, Michael  Bourn and Craig Kimbrel.

“It’s been awesome,” Uggla said of the attention paid to Jones. “He’s kind of like the Godfather or something. Everybody’s just been amazing to him. He’s enjoying it, too. He was a truck or two behind me in the little parade, and he was standing up waving. It looked like they had him on a pedestal. He was standing up and having a blast.”

That was the All-Star Red Carpet Show on Tuesday afternoon, where each All-Star was ensconsed in a pickup truck for a ride through the Country Club Plaza shopping area between fans who lined the streets. Bourn and Uggla each was accompanied by his son on the parade route, and Kimbrel rode with his fiancée Ashley.

Each player was given a box of balls to toss to fans along the parade route.

“I let her throw some of the balls, see what her arm looked like,” Kimbrel said. “She was a cheerleader, so she’s a pretty good athlete.”

Jones had a full truck with his parents and three of his four sons (the other was sick and couldn’t make the trip). It was the first time any of the boys accompanied him on an All-Star trip, who was going to take them with him to Arizona last year – the first time he made the team since 2008 – but had to skip the game to have knee surgery.

“The parade was a blast,” Jones said in the National League clubhouse Tuesday afternoon. “And getting to watch the look on my kid’s face during the home run contest, that was pretty cool. I’ve had a great time. I’m very appreciative of this opportunity, not just for me but for my family. It’s been everything that I wanted it to be.”

He was asked if there was a moment that stood out for him in Kansas City.

“Having a conversation with George Brett,” said Jones, who talked with the former Royals third baseman and Hall of Famer during batting practice Tuesday.  “George was one of my guys growing up. I came up as a shortstop and was a huge Cal Ripken fan, but I had in the back of my mind that third base could be in my future one day, and obviously George Brett and Mike Schmidt were the quintessential MVP candidates, best players in their league when I was growing up. So if you could pattern your game after guys like George Brett, you’re going to be a pretty good player.”

Braves fathers and sons

Jones, Uggla and Bourn had their sons on the field with them Monday during batting practice and the Home Run Derby. Things got interesting.

“I actually had to reprimand my youngest [Tristan, 6], because he was throwing every single ball in the stands,” Jones said, smiling. “And I mean hard. I was afraid he was going to break somebody’s nose. Not to mention Major League Baseball is going to send me a bill for thousands of dollars in baseballs given out by my son. I kept telling him to throw it into the bucket, and he kept throwing them in the stands.”

Bourn’s son Bryson, who is almost 3, was frightened by one of the many large team mascots crowded around a field entranceway.

“I said, the mascot ain’t going to do nothing to you,” Bourn said. “I’m not sure which mascot it was. He’s not scared of the Braves mascot. I had to let him know, he ain’t going to do nothing to you. He was all right after that…. My kid’s having a lot of fun. He’s going everywhere with me.”

Bryson wasn’t old enough to accompany Bourn the other time he made the All-Star team in 2010.

“You can only play so many years and every time you get to come here it’s an honor,” he said. “He’s about to turn 3. I don’t know if he’ll remember it well. That means I’ve got to make another one.”

57 comments Add your comment

count_schemula

July 10th, 2012
9:09 pm

Chipper rules!

Crazy train!

Bobby Dews

July 10th, 2012
9:20 pm

JC Boscan III

July 10th, 2012
9:23 pm

The Braves let Melky (or Milky, as Bobby would say) play FAT, and now look at him………!!

[...] Retiring Chipper treated like star among All-Stars | Atlanta Braves.  [Comments (0)] [link] [...]

ChippersGal

July 10th, 2012
9:49 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE all the love and respect that folks around the country are showing for our man Chipper! What a great way to close this chapter of his life and begin the next!! LOVE YOU CHIP!!!

Yogi Berra

July 10th, 2012
10:06 pm

Chipper’s well deserved love in All-Stars game. U go Chip!

The other Braves make us proud.

Yogi Berra

July 10th, 2012
10:08 pm

Ya, Chip one for one so far.
Uggla 1 for 2

J.I.

July 10th, 2012
10:08 pm

And a hit by Chipper!

JoshTown

July 10th, 2012
10:12 pm

What a great night for Chipper Jones, and the Atlanta Braves. I figured they’d have some nice coverage and say a few nice things, but damn. He led off the telecast, the announcers have been talking about him all night, and the fans in K.C. couldn’t have been more respectful. He looks like he’s having a blast, and it’s well deserved. Way to go #10.

BobDawg

July 10th, 2012
10:29 pm

How did the Phillies let Mike Trout get away when he grew up in their backyard of Millville, NJ??? If he stays healthy he could be the white reincarnation of Ricky Henderson…. I mean that with great respect, BTW…..

Just a fan

July 10th, 2012
10:32 pm

Trout the reincarnation of Ricky Henderson?

Try Mickey Mantle

BobDawg

July 10th, 2012
10:32 pm

Too bad Trout plays on the West Coast… He won’t get the pub Harper gets on the East Coast due to news times and deadlines each night….

BobDawg

July 10th, 2012
10:34 pm

JUST A FAN… your are right with that analysis also…. The Mick couldn’t stay healthy but was still great.

phil

July 10th, 2012
11:19 pm

Good piece…..play on, chipper jones.

bfred

July 10th, 2012
11:36 pm

I hope the treatment he’s getting from national media, players and fans reminds the less-charitable locals how deeply respected Chipper is (and has been for a long time) around the country.

Rafael

July 10th, 2012
11:42 pm

Hey “Bobby Dews”…. insultling a 1st Ballot Hall of Famer… is that all you have to do after your shift at Steak & Shake??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why don’t you come up with something ORIGINAL, “Larry” was yesterday’s news years ago.

I’t’s OBVIOUS with the “Larry” insult you LIVE in a low-life neighborhood of Philadelphia. You get free tickets from your local United Way to 1 Phillies home game a year to insult a Hall of Famer.

You are NOT funny and I’m certain you did not go past the 8th grade.

Quack Quack

July 11th, 2012
12:00 am

Congratulations Chipper!! So glad you got to share this with your sons.

Nice showing of Braves players tonight. Hope the home field advantage helps US in October!!!

GO BRAVES!!

Unoriginal

July 11th, 2012
12:11 am

Stud. Love Chipper. Hope Bourn makes those upcoming AS Games with the Braves. Kimbrell through 7 pitches and struck out 2. Nasty. Demote Uggla to rehab his “broken bat”.

Mitchell

July 11th, 2012
12:14 am

Love the All Star Game. Love my National League. Love the eight runs. Love the blowout. Love Chipper getting a standing O and a hit, miraculously. (Ha!) Love Uggla not striking out. Love the “inferior” NL kicking the AL’s @$$. Love seeing Kimbrel blowing AL batters away.

Still hate the Giants.

Mitchell

July 11th, 2012
12:16 am

Three in a row for senior circuit.

Can’t beat it.

Braves fan for life

July 11th, 2012
12:29 am

What a nice send off as a player for chipper but I have a feeling his days are done as player for the braves but not as a coach. He is inspiration to me because of his character, don’t t forget this guy has made some big mistakes but look at how he dealt with them so well an

LisaLisa

July 11th, 2012
12:37 am

I never knew Chipper’s first name was Larry. Why would that make someone so mad?

billy

July 11th, 2012
12:41 am

@Braves fan for life, eff off you dum a## neck. You’re going to be the biatch screaming when chipper is gone… gfys

BravesFaninBama

July 11th, 2012
12:41 am

It was seriously so much fun watching Kimbrel mow down the other all-stars. No other pitcher dominated the way he did. I know he only got to pitch for two outs…But man, that sure was exciting. He probably would have had a 1,2,3 inning…

He was hitting 99-100 on each pitch!! I think someone was showing off for the national media! Which is fine by me!

BravesFaninBama

July 11th, 2012
12:43 am

Billy, did you even read his comments!?!?! NO where did he bad mouth Chipper. Some of you people on here have some serious issues…He was saying he is obviously retiring, but he will be back as a coach when he is done…jeeeez.

DOB Needs To Ask Tougher Questions!

July 11th, 2012
12:51 am

I gotta tell you..you have to tip your cap to Chip for running full speed (for him) on that dribbler his only time up.
But you REALLY have to do a Bobby Cox screws a game up royally but says the other team was just a better team tonight tip of the cap to the Texas Rangers for throwing out there a couple of our home grown ball players!
Goes to show you that even when a team fleeces another, there should be no hard feelings! Its a boys game played by men! Ata boy, Texas Rangers!

Steve From Dalton

July 11th, 2012
1:23 am

“cross between an aging rock star and visiting head of state..” nice statement DOB.

NO MORE FREDI

July 11th, 2012
1:31 am

Where has this Chipper been past ten years? Guy is laughing, having fun and enjoying playing baseball. I like this version and wish we got to see more of it in Atlanta.

NO MORE FREDI

July 11th, 2012
1:32 am

Are you guys really fighting on the all star game blog? LOSERS!!!

Klaus

July 11th, 2012
1:51 am

Bigger news than Chipper’s dribbler – Melky is an AS, hit an HR in the AS game and was the MVP yet we tossed him back in the pond after one year.

Yes he blew at times but he was young and bummed about being jettisoned from the Yankees. We have kept guys who are still here that has worse years.

That move is going to haunt Wren for some time especially if Bourn walks and the rest of the FA OF class is too spendy.

Chop Chop

July 11th, 2012
4:19 am

Have great respect for that level of talent. The man…..not so much.

HOF 10

July 11th, 2012
4:25 am

Very happy for the second-greatest Brave in history. What a player!

bravesgrl4life

July 11th, 2012
5:36 am

Yea for Chipper!!! Other than Bourn’s K, Braves were awesome in this game! And Chipper can be like this because the pressure is off. He’s the most relaxed out there that we have seen in a long, long time, in spite of the turmoil in his personal life right now.

And congrats to Melky Cabrera! Braves were the spark for his renewal. That year in KC was just a blip on his radar.

ZinoDawg

July 11th, 2012
5:47 am

Really LisaLisa?? Obviously you never watched the Braves play the Mets at Shea.

I love Chipper. Him getting old makes me feel ancient!

Kirk

July 11th, 2012
5:58 am

Thanks Dave for a wonderful blog. It really lets me feel like I was there. Boo to the naysayers that seem to inhabit this blog way too much.

Carl Farvman

July 11th, 2012
6:57 am

Tony Larussa goes out a winner…again. What a way to finish.

Shakey

July 11th, 2012
7:26 am

I realize it’s easier to do with an 8-0 lead, but I really, really admire how Tony Larussa managed to get EVERY player into the game, even to the point of using five pitchers for the last six outs. That was great, and I really admire him for it.

Shakey

July 11th, 2012
7:27 am

I used “really’ three times in that post. I should have proof-read.

KD

July 11th, 2012
8:52 am

Did anyone like me count how many former Braves players were on the All-star rosters, there were several. I know the Braves management would like to have some of them back.

gp3

July 11th, 2012
8:53 am

great showing in all-star game for braves…now re-sign bourn long term….best we’ve had since ralph garr @ leadoff

G

July 11th, 2012
9:03 am

Come on guys. You know good and well that in a regular season game, Chipper would’ve been thrown out at first. The ball was loosely played on purpose to giftwrap a hit for old Chip in his last allstar game. If anything, good gamemanship by the American League.

harry taylor

July 11th, 2012
10:22 am

Now since everyone has tired hands slapping Chipper on the back, sit down and play ball without getting hurt again.

Todd Van Poppel

July 11th, 2012
10:35 am

Atlanta, you have me to thank. If I hadn’t had a hissy fit and not told the Braves to not draft me there is no telling who Chipper would have played for.

David O'Brien

July 11th, 2012
10:49 am

Now since everyone has tired hands slapping Chipper on the back, sit down and play ball without getting hurt again — harry taylor

Sit down and play ball?

carlton

July 11th, 2012
11:56 am

Melky is just plain svelte. Not longer in the “tub of goo” category.

defensive indifference

July 11th, 2012
1:29 pm

So Chipper walks to the plate, gets a standing O, and hits a single that slinks its way past the second baseman and into right field, all the while he’s miked, and ends up smiling on first base to the roar of the crowd.

Who writes this stuff?

Ken Stallings

July 11th, 2012
2:01 pm

George Brett at the homer run derby said the Kansas City fans would give Chipper a rousing ovation. Boy did they! I think more than most fans, the Royals fans appreciate a player who put value on playing for one team even for the loss of significant money. That plus being PED free his career are the prime reasons why I think Chipper is receiving universal praise from visiting crowds. It is nice to see.

You cannot really put a price tag on such stuff. I’m sure the millions of dollars Chipper failed to earn by remaining with the Braves is considered by Chipper as a worthy trade to stay with the Braves. Yeah, he has earned a rich income, but leaving on his own terms and with such affinity from the fans across Major League baseball means his rich income from the Braves is richer still!

Ken Stallings

July 11th, 2012
2:06 pm

Klaus,

Getting released by the Braves was a necessary wake up call for Melky Cabrera. He finally listened to his friends in baseball who had been trying to get him to get in shape and reach his potential. The year he played for Atlanta was a wasted season because of Cabrera’s choice to try to play grossly overweight. When Wren authorized his outright release, he then went to Kansas City for a small time before winding up with the Giants. With the Giants, he finally wised up and became the player he could have been in Atlanta.

JMANnATL

July 11th, 2012
2:07 pm

Harry have dumb thoughts everyday, much like the rest of us only he actually says them. Excuse him, he brained his damage…

SC Brave

July 11th, 2012
2:12 pm

Great showing for Chipper and the Braves. What really hurt was hearing the announcers say that Harrison, Feliz, and Andrus were all-stars who went to the Rangers for Texeria. Thinking what this team could be like with those guys and Wainwright. No wonder Frank Wren doesn’t want to let the young talent get away.

LisaLisa

July 11th, 2012
3:35 pm

I can’t watch the Mets..ughhh

Louisville Card

July 11th, 2012
5:32 pm

Not a Braves fan but always liked Chipper. I liked the way he went out last night.

Bill

July 11th, 2012
5:43 pm

I was fortunate to watch George Brett his whole career with the Royals.
Used to watch the Braves a lot when they were on TBS.
Enjoy Chipper while you can. He’s one of the best.

cranbery

July 11th, 2012
6:12 pm

It was a wonderful evening for a Super Star! I was also sad…………and shed a few tears. I am going to miss this Great Baseball Star! Luv U Chipper………have a son your age, too!

mojomitch

July 11th, 2012
11:01 pm

Melky was a stud in KC last season. Don’t know why one would think they were a blip on his radar. They gave him a chance after the Braves let him go.

I’m so happy the KC fans and whoever else was in attendance were so gracious to the Brave players, especially Chipper. Even though KC fans booed Cano, I think they are for the most part a very good fan base and really appreciate players like Chipper. In a lot of ways, Chipper was much like George Brett considering how their careers went and with one team.

Ken Stallings

July 12th, 2012
10:05 am

David,

Harry’s comment to “sit down and play ball,” was a glimpse into his lifestyle! Obviously, he’s thinking about X-Box baseball games!

smoltzfan

July 12th, 2012
4:52 pm

Missing Chipper already, cannot imagine the season next year without him. I have watched many good Braves come and go since 1966 and he will be one that will be sorely missed for a very long time on the field, in the dugout and in the club house. Just like my fav John Smoltz. Hopefully, Chipper will stay close by as Smoltzie has. They inspire the team just with their presence.

Add your comment