It seemed every stop in every city across both leagues had something special for Chipper Jones during his final campaign in the big leagues. Many teams opted to give Jones the third base bag from their respective ballpark as a keepsake, while others got a little more creative.
Memorabilia gifts were popular and wide-ranging. The Boston Red Sox gave him a piece of the scoreboard from the Green Monster. The Chicago Cubs presented him with a famous flag from Wrigley Field.
As the team went out west, the souvenirs became more interesting. The Houston Astros’ gift was a 10-gallon cowboy hat, while the San Diego Padres had a special surfboard waiting for him.
All of these items and the ceremonies accompanying them typically included a video tribute of highlights and remarks from great players and luminaries representing each club. Jones’ career was also celebrated at the All-Star game in Kansas City, where he made his eighth and final All-Star appearance.
To be celebrated by one’s peers is about as humbling as it gets, and Jones accepted these kind words, well wishes and gifts with grace and humility to be sure.
The Braves held a special “Chipper Jones Appreciation Night” to honor him on September 28. It was a moving trip down memory lane, filled with more gift presentations and well wishes. Given the sheer number of occasions on which Jones served as a guest of honor, it is safe to say that his legacy was known throughout the baseball world.