9.30.2012

Chipper Jones Farewell Night: Braves vs. Mets

Friday night the Braves honored our legend, Chipper Jones, in a meaningful and thoughtful ceremony before the game.
After a long day at work paired with bumper to bumper traffic moving at 2mph over 20 miles on I-75  forcing us to get off the interstate and take a bunch of side roads, we wheeled into one of the scariest parking lots I've ever parked at on the South side of Turner Field and made it in at 7:05PM.
What should have been a 45 min. trip turned into an hour and a half trip.
I seriously walked away from our car thinking it could be the last time I ever saw it.
But, low and behold it was there and in one piece post-game!
The Chipper ceremony started at 7, so we weren't too late all things considered.
I was on the verge of a breakdown in the car when we were sitting on the exit ramp at 6:48 and we hadn't moved more than 4-5 car lengths in 8 minutes. 
I could not miss this ceremony.
Chipper Jones has been my favorite Brave since he first joined the team in 1993.
I remember watching him on tv and coming to see him play at the old Fulton County Stadium before they built the new Turner Field in 1996 for the Olympics. 
I remember leaving with a small wooden bat with this signature painted on the handle and wearing my navy blue Chipper signature t-shirt that I still have to this day.
At my dad's house my bedroom was decorated in Chipper Jones paraphernalia: red bunk beds with blue comforters and Chipper posters on the wall.
I was smitten by his good looks and how he always seems at ease during the game.
You could count on him most of the time to make those clutch plays.
Not much has changed.
The fact that he is retiring has me torn all to pieces.
I don't even know how I can watch the Braves without him.
I understand his reasoning, and I support him. 
But, I'm a selfish fan and I can't imagine the game without him.
There were so many notable speakers at the ceremony, including Bobby Cox!
Before I knew it I had crocodile tears streaming down my cheeks as I listened to so many speak about him and then when the man of the hour stepped up to the podium and he was choked up...how could I keep it together?
It was worse than a funeral. I generally can keep it together at funerals, but I can't handle Chipper's retirement.
After the ceremony I tried to pull myself together, but it just wasn't possible.
My husband really does love me.
He spent the game running back and forth to the concession stand so that I could console myself with a Chick-Fil-A spicy chicken sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie with a cookies n' cream milkshake to dip it in.
Then he got me a Sprite just so I could get the Chipper cup.
I don't even drink soft drinks.
Bless Brandon's heart, he has already bought us tickets for this Friday night's game since it's the first round of the playoffs.
I met Chipper when I was 18 years old.
We talked for over an hour as we were in a local country dance hall called Wild Bills.
I could not believe the man I had a crush on for so many years sat down at a table next to me.
He had on a flannel shirt, Carhart pants, and a baseball cap.
I didn't even get a picture with him because I didn't want him to think I was just some young crazy fan.
I maintained my composure, played it cool, and engaged in conversation.
I wish I would have just asked for the picture and the autograph at the risk of being that crazy fan.
This was part of the stage for the ceremony:
Soldout crowd-the largest crowd this season!
There he is-out at 3rd base!
Chipper at bat-look at all the #10 posters!
My wonderful husband and me:
Chipper waving goodbye and saying thank you to the crowd:
There's not another Braves # I'd rather wear.
Even though the Braves lost to the Mets it was still a great tribute to Chipper.
Looking forward to next Friday!

2 comments:

  1. Awe this post is too cute & so sweet! I am glad you was able to still make it & see the chipper tribute :)

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  2. I'm so sad to see Chipper go. He's my favorite too! That's awesome that you met him that way! You're right, you should've risked being that crazy young fan, but at least you have that memory! Go Braves!

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