Larry Wayne (Chipper) Jones Jr., Thank You

My Dad and I recently made a trip down to Orlando for Braves spring training at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. It has been a bucket list item for both of us, so needless to say it was pretty exciting. Not only have the Braves kept my Dad and I close, but also one player in particular, Chipper Jones.

You might think it is strange that my relationship with my Dad centers around baseball, but you learn a lot about a person during all the down time at a ball game. Our conversations over the phone start out about how the Braves are “lookin” this year, but inevitably turns to what is going on in our respective lives.

Now let me explain how Chipper Jones connects us. Chipper is our favorite player, hands down. We both get giddy when talking about his amazing switch hitter abilities; in fact he ranks second on the all time switch-hitter RBI list. My Dad loves to brag that they share part of the same name because my dad’s first name is Wayne (along with millions of others I am sure!). We have both, admittedly, been on the “it is time to hang up the cleats” bandwagon because he cannot seem to run to first base without pulling a hamstring. My Dad still claims Chipper is a great fielder, which in reality we both know his age is showing on the field. All of this to say that since I was 5 years old, Chipper has been a Brave, which means he has been apart of our conversation for 18 years.

Chipper recently announced that the 2012 season will be his last. Although he has had his ups and downs personally, no one can deny what a great baseball player he is. I cannot deny that Chipper kept my Dad and I talking through the ups and downs of our own relationship. So thank you Chipper, and may my Dad and I have so much to talk about in your final season.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Larry Wayne (Chipper) Jones Jr., Thank You

  1. Great post Cameron. My Dad and I also love baseball, and though his home team is the Mets, we have discussed Chipper Jones’ career at great length. I personally think that Chipper might suffer from the same problem that many of the greats have, when is it time to say when (Insert Bret Farve joke here). To me, it’s time to say when you spend more time on the DL than you do on the batting rotation. Sorry Chipper, you may be past your prime, but your love of the game lives on.

    • cameronellis88

      Thanks! Fun fact, Chipper actually named his daughter Shea after the Met’s Shea Stadium because he batted so well there!

  2. I loved the post Cameron. I think alot of baseball fans attach themselves to that one player they can identify with. For my dad, it was Louis Gonzalez of the Arizona D-Backs. For me, it was Ken Griffey Jr.

  3. williamwickey

    Great post.

    I’ve always been a Braves fan but I was a little soured on the MLB in general after last season. I’m not really sure why, but I just haven’t been as excited for the start of the 2012 season as I usually am.

    To psyche myself up, I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ Baseball on Netflix. (Ok, its 14 hours long and usually puts me to sleep, but it does always make me feel good about the game.) In the series, they often touch on the same element of family and community that you talk about in your post and that is a big reason why I think the sport is so great. Sometimes, I just have to remind myself.

    • cameronellis88

      I am definitely going to check out Ken Burn’s Baseball! Thanks for the tip! Can’t believe I have not seen it!

  4. I can totally relate. My dad took me to see a Braves game when I was 13, and it turned out to be Chipper’s debut game. I’ve been a fan ever since. My dad taught me all about sports and especially basketball. We still start most phone conversations with a discussion about the UK basketball team.

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