It has taken be sometime to collect my thoughts to write about my thanks to Chipper. I never really realized back in 1993 or before that I had started watching greatness. I never knew it so I had no clue as to what to look for. I watched Chipper play back then at West Palm and I try to remember some of the guys that started then....what names come to mind?? No one sticks out.... I mean sure I remember names...but no one even close to how great Chipper was....before you say Jeter....He didn't start with the Yankees until may 1995. (Chipper debuted late in 1993 season)
Chipper was greatness personified and I got to watch it evolve before my eyes. I saw a rookie season robbed of a Rookie of the year. I was there in 95 to see the World Series finally be won by Atlanta. I saw a season in 1999 that I still shake my head at! I saw the homerun chipper hit in the 2000 all star game. Chipper batted .385 in the games I saw personally. He hit six walk offs during my attendance. I saw his last walk off. I just came to expect them because he was so great He hit 17 home runs in games I attended. I am sorry for my son (he is just 13) that he missed some of his greatness. I hope that someone from the Braves will fill his shoes. As I look at the roster now....I wonder.....could it be Prado, Freeman, Heyward, McCann, or perhaps Simmons. The task is daunting! The above is what you have to do on the field! Off the field you have to be a leader in the Club House. I saw Chippers speech at the All-Star game and I would have dove into a Justin Verlander fastball if he would have ask me to make sure I got on base! Off the field with the fans he was great. I remember him stopping his truck out back of the stadium and pulling up on the curb to stop and try to attend to the throng of fans hoping for an autograph. I saw him many times stop for and hour after the game to do this. As the throng grew it became harder for him to do.....but always and I mean always after the game he would at least give a toot toot toot on his horn as he drove off. This year on the road I saw Chipper three times. He actually went up in the stands in Miami this year...he was with us and it was great. I saw him in Pittsburgh....hobble....and I mean that with greatest respect and sign for me and others after the first two games. He had as much time as could be expected for his fans. He always did the Caravan and was always a gentleman. He took less money to stay where he started! I am not sure that will ever happen again. So In three words "thank you Chipper". What i saw may never come my way again. I hope for my Sons sake....it does. Are there any applicants?