As you may have noticed, I’m not a particular fan of heavy metal. Once I hit 17 or 18 and started to explore more thoroughly all the various types of music available, my Black Sabbath and Judas Priest albums went more or less unplayed.
Tonight, though, let’s make an exception. With the Braves playing a one-game playoff at the Ted for entry into the full playoffs, this could be Atlanta’s final sendoff for the great Chipper Jones. We went to the game Sunday to watch his final regularly scheduled home appearance — we bought the tickets back in July, and weren’t certain then whether the Braves would make the post-season — and the 40-year-old made three sterling plays in the field that any 25-year-old would have been proud to make.
When you start talking Chipper, a lot of memories come back. I remember going to my first Braves game back in 1990, against the Cubs, and there were maybe 5,000 people in the place, with 4,950 of them rooting for the Cubs. That doesn’t happen anymore, and Chipper Jones, along with Bobby Cox and a certain trio of pitchers, helped make that transformation possible.
Essentially growing up in the Atlanta spotlight, Jones has had his occasional stumbles, but overall he has conducted himself with dignity and class, doing great credit to himself and the Braves. He’s also played some clutch, Hall of Fame-caliber baseball along the way.
So to mark the occasion and as a well-deserved tribute, here’s Chipper’s walkup song, “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne, a veteran himself who is even more grizzled than Chipper.
– Jay Bookman