Chipper Jones – A Georgia Hero

By Caroline McKinley

Chipper Jones, a 19-straight-season baseball all star, is on his final season with the Atlanta Braves.  He announced his retirement on March 22, 2012, leaving every baseball fan in Georgia and America heartbroken.  Chipper has been a huge part of the Atlanta Braves franchise for 19 straight years, and his involvement with the team has kept many fans coming back to more and more games to see one of the best switch hitters in the league.

After opening his final season on the disabled list, his fans thought he was going to finish his career and final season out of shape, but he turned peoples’ opinions around quick when he doubled his first at bat and hit a home run his second at bat. His fans love Chipper, for his humility and loyalty, but also his personal traits, his southern roots, his love for the outdoors, and the fact that he is an all around good person.

Chipper is a shoe in for the Hall of Fame after this season, and his long career was honored by the Braves on September 28th with a pre-game ceremony, including former coach Bobby Cox and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.  With the end nearing of his final season, Chipper has received many gifts, like a trip to Hawaii, a pool table, and a home plate made of bricks from the Braves.

However, Chipper says the gift that “takes the plate” is from one of his main sponsors, Mizuno, which was a four-wheel drive ATV.  Jones says, “A lot of people know that I’m a big outdoorsman, so having something like this to tootle around in the woods with is nice, especially at my new house. I’m looking forward to breaking it in at the new place.”

Mizuno USA president Bob Puccini said the gift of an ATV would be perfect for Jones.

“We know that he is a big hunter and going to enjoy a lot of time fishing as well on his new ranch,” Puccini said. “We thought we’d want to supply his equipment in the next chapter of his life.”

Chipper has his own website, entitled “Official Website of Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves in Turner Field” which features photos, statistics, sponsorships, a biography, and much more.  A big part of his website is the Chipper Jones Family Foundation, which uses his celebrity status and talent to give back to the community.  Organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Florida and Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, Little League programs in Atlanta and Pierson, FL, Stetson University, and the Boys and Girls Clubs have all received gifts from Chipper’s Foundation.  There is also a Chipper Jones Celebrity Golf Invitational to raise money for his foundation.

Chipper uses his talent to give back to the community, making him an even more admirable baseball player.  Baseball fans in Georgia and all across the country root for chipper.  He has had an incredible career, and the whole baseball community hopes for the best for Chipper on his final run in the play-offs this post season.  If he could win the World Series in his final season, I think it is safe to say that no other team or non-braves fan would be too upset about their team losing to Chipper.


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