I never liked Chipper Jones and I never liked the Mets, but this is one of those sports stories that kind of transcends individuals and team identities. Jones spent his career beating up on the Mets on the field, but never had a bad thing to say about them off the field even when Mets fans heaped tons of abuse on him. In fact, he often went out of his way to point out that he'd feel the same way if he were a Mets fan. That's what a passionate sports fan is all about.
One of former Yankee heroes, Don Mattingly, was the same way -- and he really stood out for it. In his later years, long after his chronic back injuries tarnished what would surely have been a Hall of Fame career, he would be treated very well by opposing players and fans all over the league. In a biographical video that was produced by the YES Sports Network after he retired, one of his former managers described how time seemed to stand still when Mattingly was at the plate in batting practice before a game ... with opposing players and coaches crowded around the cage to watch his magical swing, and fans (even in ballparks on the road) crowded into the lower seats to get a glimpse of him.
It's enough to make even a hardened sports fan emotional. This is what baseball is all about.
posted on 09/08/2012 9:31:30 AM PDT
by Alberta's Child
("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
To: Alberta's Child
I AM a Braves fan and a Chipper fan too.
I think Chipper must like NY thought. He did name his first son Shea. :)
posted on 09/08/2012 9:54:15 AM PDT
by Conan the Librarian
(The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
To: Alberta's Child
Jones spent his career beating up on the Mets on the field, but never had a bad thing to say about them off the field even when Mets fans heaped tons of abuse on him
In fact, Chipper named his first son Shea, after Shea Stadium, where he hit more HRs than any other opposing player.
To: Alberta's Child; Vigilantcitizen; Churchillspirit
Growing up as a 10 y/o in Brooklyn, my buds and me used to take the subway to Ebbets Field and see the Dodgers a year before they moved. We would get there a few hours before the game and wait for the players to park nose-in against the stadium. They would sign autographs (we would bring our baseball cards and programs) and sometimes give us balls. Furillo, Hodges, Amoros, Gilliam and the big star, Duke Snider were all terrific, as were several other players. Never saw Robinson or Koufax up close, though.
We would almost always sit on the first base side so we could be close to Kluszewski or Musial when the Redlegs or Cards came to town. It was there that I first learned of the NY fans' ability to respect other players...we loved both Klu and Stosh. I am glad to see that kind of respect for talented, decent ballplayers continue.
I'm sure this happens in other cities (I would guess, though, NOT in Philadelphia). Can any of you tell me if that happens elsewhere?
posted on 09/08/2012 12:26:18 PM PDT
(Democrats lie because they must.)
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