Growing up, I’m sure that many of you had a sports idol that you looked up to. Maybe it was a hometown hero, maybe it was your dad’s favorite player. You asked for their jersey for Christmas, were so excited if you got their card in a pack of sports cards and checked the paper (yep, the paper!) to see how they did the night before in their game. For me, that player was Chipper Jones.
True, I am from Pittsburgh and Chipper was coming into his prime just a few years after one of the most infamous nights in the Pittsburgh Pirates history. A lazy single to left by Francisco Cabrera field allowed Sid Bream to beat a throw by Barry Bonds and started two decades of futility for the Pirates. Jones wasn’t around then; his first season in the big leagues was 1993 and after sitting out the ’94 season with an injury, really came into the league in ’95. For me, Chipper exemplified everything that was positive about the game. There was no showboating, no drama, no complaining, no antics. He just went out, did his job (well too, winning the MVP in 2000) and played the game hard. That’s what I was always taught by my father when I was learning to play ball. Go hard on every play, have fun, keep your head high and stay humble. Chipper’s was a great lead to follow.
Now, in 2012, after 18 years, over 2,700 hits, 460 home runs, an MVP, a World Series win and 9 All Star appearances, the first ballot hall of famer is hanging up his spikes. I have the great fortune of being able to watch him play his last regular season games of his career right here, in my hometown of Pittsburgh. I attended the game last night and will be there tonight and tomorrow as well, being one of a handful of fans not rooting for the hometown Buccos. Today’s post is a collection of shots from last night’s game, with more to come over the next couple of days. Enjoy!
A view of the Pittsburgh skyline from PNC Park
Chipper gets ready for a pitch
Hitting into a groundout in the the 6th
Saluting the crowd…
One more time…
The past and the future in one picture
Thanks for stopping by today folks!