Bonds had role in many of Chipper’s San Francisco memories

SAN FRANCISCO – Chipper Jones has been around a lot longer than most current players, and so his memories of playing in San Francisco aren’t limited to AT&T Park, which opened in 2000.

The Braves’ retiring third baseman can recall like it was yesterday playing cold, windy games at old Candlestick Park, which the NFL’s 49ers still call home. The clubhouse was located all the way out near the right-field corner.

“I remember hitting my 40th home run in 1999 there, off Joe Nathan – that was obviously a big plateau to reach,” Jones said Thursday afternoon, 3-1/2 hours before the opener of his last scheduled series in San Francisco.

He hit his 40th – the first and only time Jones would hit that many in a season – on Sept. 12, 1999, on a 66-degree, sunny day at the ‘Stick. Jones homered off Nathan that day, and Barry Bonds hit his 31st of the season that day off reliever Derrin Ebert. Nathan got the win that afternoon and Greg Maddux took the loss to go to 18-7.

Jones would finish the season with 45 homers and won the MVP award. Bonds, who was 34 and weighed 225 pounds back then, hit 34 homers in 102 games in that injury-plagued season. That was 39 fewer than the bulked-up colossus would hit two seasons later.

What were Jones’ other memories of Candlestick?

“I remember just sitting across the diamond from one of my childhood idols, Dusty Baker [then Giants manager],” he said. Then he smiled. “I remember having to walk all the way down the right-field line to the clubhouse, and I remember seeing Bobby [Cox] make that lonely walk many a time during the middle of a game.

“That’s got to be the most humbling walk after an ejection you’re ever going to get. We all tried to stay away from being ejected at Candlestick because we knew we were going to have to make that long walk and just endure whatever it was the fans were going to give us.”

It was the left-field fans who would give Jones an earful years later after the move to AT&T Park. Jones played left field full-time in 2002 and 2003 in order to open a spot for Vinny Castilla at third base.

“I was playing left field when [Bonds] hit both of those walk-offs,” Jones said, referring to game-ending homers that Bonds hit in the opener and the finale of a three-game series sweep in August 2003. “I’ll remember the treatment fans give pretty much every left fielder out there. It’s not a place for women and children, I can tell you that.”

One of those Bonds’ walk-off homers led to another incident that’s fresh in Jones’ mind.

“Unfortunately, for myself and the Braves, Barry is involved in a lot of those memories, good, bad and indifferent,” Jones said. “One of the only times I can every remember Bobby losing it was in here, walking through those doors [he glances to the doors to the visiting clubhouse] and exploding those doors when he walked in after the second one Bonds hit. Just a profanity-laced tirade that you don’t often hear from him. It was certainly one that whoever was in this clubhouse will remember for many years.”

19 comments Add your comment

Weaseal

August 23rd, 2012
9:53 pm

Nice work DOB now go throw back some Anchor Steams-
Go Braves

Clint

August 23rd, 2012
9:57 pm

I wonder if it makes a legitimate ballplayer like Chipper sick to his stomach to talk about Bonds. It does me, but if he could tell the truth without getting in trouble with the MLBPA and MLB, I’m sure he’d speak up.

Chipper has earned every homerun, every walk, every run scored. He’s payed the price with numerous injuries, and if he had juiced it up like Bonds did, he could have recovered much quicker and probably would have 550-600 homers by now.

But he didn’t and he’ll be a first ballot Hall of Famer, something Bonds will never be able to claim.

BRAVESFAN

August 23rd, 2012
10:03 pm

For anyone who hasn’t visited Cooperstown hidden behind the Hank Aaron exhibit and near the washroom is Barry Bonds asterisk ball. My second favorite thing to see besides real hall of famers.

Citi F. Jones

August 23rd, 2012
10:28 pm

That’s what you love to hear – Zito gives up most of his runs in the 1st inning. But, of course, the Braves can’t even get one run in. SMH.

SOS Braves

August 23rd, 2012
10:35 pm

Braves choke more run chances in the first inning than anybody. Of course they do that in all the innings.

Clint

August 23rd, 2012
10:40 pm

It amazes me how negative people on these boards are. It’s the first flippin’ inning and the team you supposedly root for have the 5th best record in MLB.

If the Braves scored five runs in the first, you’d bitch that they didn’t score six. Turn off the tv/radio and go find something to occupy your time that doesn’t make your blood boil.

Werth

August 23rd, 2012
10:47 pm

To all you haters Barry Bonds was a HOFer before steroids. AND he will be inducted into Cooperstown. It may not be on the first ballot but he will get the votes.

And stop making Chipper an angel. I like Chipper but we dont know what he did during the sreroid era and he sure wouldn’t admit it now if he did. So back off Bonds. Haters.

SOS Braves

August 23rd, 2012
10:54 pm

I would love it if braves scored 5 runs in the GAME. Once again they screw up a scoring opportunity. Hard not to be negative about these losers. And that’s a good idea. Imturning off the blog and the tv. Enjoy the loss tonight.

Clint

August 23rd, 2012
10:55 pm

Werth, I agree Bonds was probably a HOFer before he decided to throw all that out the window. He would have had 400 homers and 400 steals all while playing good defense.

Since he decided to cheat, I’ll call him out on it.

And it’s absurd to insinuate that Chipper may have taken PEDs. His name has never been linked to any player/coach/trainer associated with PEDs. He wasn’t named in the Mitchell report. His body never went through the kind of transformation that Bonds’ (amongst others) did.

Clint

August 23rd, 2012
11:02 pm

The 2012 Braves have scored 5+ runs (in a game) 52 times. When they score 6+ runs they are 45-0!

They have averaged 4.60 runs per game, while giving up an average of 3.91 runs per game.

Not too shabby! Might be why they are having such a successful season…

Bronke

August 23rd, 2012
11:32 pm

Not looking good tonight. The Braves are making Zito look amazing. What got into Freeman with that power swing? Hoping for better but expectations not high. What a difference when Medlen is on the mound. The whole team seems to wake up!

thepro

August 24th, 2012
12:09 am

Tommy Hanson is the Braves starting pitcher i like watching the least…slow, prodding delivery to the plate and whatever happened to that mid-90’s fastball everybody raved about when he first got called up? Its the same scenario that plays out everytime he pitches…I’m amazed that he’s been as successful as he has thus far in his career

lee maye

August 24th, 2012
1:56 am

Werth: We do know that Chipper has never been accused. And, we do know that Bonds is guilty. We don’t know when Bonds began taking stuff. Why would we believe anything the guy says? He is a disgrace to the Giants just as Melkie is. And, Bonds is a disgrace to Willie Mays.

southgabrave

August 24th, 2012
2:05 am

Bonds was on his way to being a great player, but he cheated, and more so than Pete Rose he doesnt deserve the HOF. At least as a player Rose was 110%, ball player. Aaron was and will always be the HR king until someone beats him FAIRLY!!!!!!!!

Chop Chop

August 24th, 2012
2:09 am

It seems like it would have been bad business for Chipper not to use PEDs. Nevertheless, the guy’s a Hall of Famer (same as Bonds whether he gets in or not) and has given us plenty of great moments. Despite the way in which sports are often portrayed or understood by those who love them, sports are meant to be entertainment for the masses, not morality plays.

D from Charleston, SC

August 24th, 2012
10:21 am

ATTN Braves FANS: New post on http://bravesbanter.com/ about what the Lyle Overbay signing means for the rest of the Braves bench and the Current Standings of Atlanta’s starting rotation. 6 men for 5 spots… Who is the odd man out as of today? Other Braves news like where Michael Bourn will call home next year and a position by position breakdown of the BRAVES vs NATIONALS! Also, how to sit in HANK AARON SEATS for under $50, eat and drink for FREE at Turner Field, and which seats to avoid during day games.. All at http://bravesbanter.com/ … Don’t Stop the Chop!!!

Steve in Utah

August 24th, 2012
11:17 am

I was also there in 2003 to see both Bonds walk-offs bookend that 3-game set, the last one went into McCovey Cove….

CSP

August 24th, 2012
2:34 pm

@ werth. Your pro Bonds slant is completely disrespectful to the greatest living player…Hank Aaron.

D from Charleston, SC

August 24th, 2012
8:26 pm

ATTN BRAVES Fans: Will Dan Uggla and Brian McCann cost Atlanta a shot at postseason glory? Newest blog at http://bravesbanter.com/. Update on the Starting Pitcher rotation battle… Who is the odd man out as of today, and would Kris Medlen be the Game 1 starter of a playoff series?? All at http://bravesbanter.com/…. Don’t Stop the Chop!!!

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