Last night I watched Driven, which featured Chipper Jones. It showcased his entire baseball career as well as how he was brought up. It made me think about what it meant to be his fan and about the fact that he will never play again. This was something I have been meaning to write for a long time, but never got around to.
I don’t remember why I picked him out. I was ten way back in 1995, which was his first full season as an Atlanta Brave and when I first started watching him. Likely I thought he was cute. Hell, I still think he is cute… and sexy… and handsome… and a hunk that has gotten better as he aged, like wine. Although I don’t like to admit, it that is a big reason why I like him. Makes me seem like one of those female that only cares about watching the guys and nothing about the sport itself.
I’m not or well, at least not only that. I love baseball and everything about it. Always have. I played tee-ball for two years. I would have gone on but my mom was scared about me playing with the older boys. It was something I loved doing, unlike the tap and dance classes that my mom signed me up for and hated.
My family also liked baseball, especially my grandmother. I can’t count the number of times we watched the games together. Whenever we were away from each other and were watching the game, we would always call each other whenever Chipper hit a homerun. A lot of times the line would be busy as we were both calling each other at the same time.
It is hard to believe that the ballplayer I picked out when I was ten would spend his entire career as an Atlanta Brave or that he would do so well. Through his eighteen years I never once had a player I liked more. He has always been my favorite ball player and still is and always will be. Through the years my walls have been plastered with various boy bands, movie posters and animal pictures, but Chipper Jones had always stayed up. It has always been my dream to meet him, to just shake his hand and say a few words to him. Five minutes is all I need. I still hold onto that dream
Some might call it an obsession and maybe it is. I think that partially has to do with my Asperger’s Syndrome which I have talked about in past posts. We tend to have special interests that we get very into and Chipper and the Braves have always been mine. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t bring up his name, something I know has driven my mom crazy. With my grandmother passed away she is the only one I really talk to about Chipper, or well… besides you guys. It is something I have gotten better at not talking about with people and likely why I talk about him so much at home as I have keep it in everywhere else.
When I learned that he was gone to retire I was heartbroken. I even cried, I admit it. I made it to two games last year, his bobble head night and the night they honored him. I have watched him for eighteen years. I have watched him come up to the plate, and take the field hundreds if not thousands of times. I have watched him, hit homeruns and doubles and singles and even triples. I have watched him get ground balls and pop flies and making amazing plays on the field. I have yelled and screamed and cheered. I have clipped articles out of the paper and bought magazines with his picture. I have pulled his baseball cards from packs and bought memorabilia of all kinds.
To think I will no longer get to watch number ten take the field, or to see him come through to win the game for his team or hear them announce his name is something that is hard to accept. I will always be a Brave fan and there are several players that I am big fans of, but this year will be different. It will not be the same with Chipper and that will take some getting use to.