Celebrating the Legacy of Chipper Jones
If you ask anyone in Braves Country what the name Chipper Jones means to them, you’ll hear about how he was everyone’s favorite player as a child, how the number ten could never truly belong to anyone after his long and storied career in Atlanta, how he was known as the “Mets Killer.” What those fans may fail to mention is the dedication he has to the community off the field – between his Chipper Jones Family Foundation and his work with the Atlanta Braves Foundation, Chipper has been making a difference in the lives of children throughout Braves Country.
To celebrate Chipper’s career on and off the field, the Atlanta Braves are refurbishing Little League fields in the Metro Atlanta area, the first of which was West Manor Park located in Southwest Atlanta. When we first arrived at West Manor Park, the brush behind homeplate was overgrown with poison ivy, the infield was trampled and there were no defined foul lines. The benches in the dugout as well as the bleachers were warped and mismatched, and there was no sign of a pitcher’s mound. Check out the before pictures below.
The Braves brought in award winning groundskeeper Ed Mangan, who straightened out the outfield, widened and cleaned up the infield, moved the foul poles, and put in a top notch pitcher’s mound. The dugout benches were sanded and repainted, along with the bleacher seats on either side. The fencing was replaced and the brush behind the backstop was cleared and replaced with new plants and mulch. Check out the after photos below.
Chipper Jones, along with the Braves staff, Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin and other city of Atlanta representatives were all on hand for the field dedication on Thursday, July 27th. Following the dedication, Chipper helped with a quick hitting clinic in the newly preened outfield.
The field dedication was only the beginning of Chipper Jones’ Hall of Fame weekend. On Friday, June 28th the Atlanta Braves hosted a Hall of Fame luncheon honoring the career of the third baseman. Outside of the actual dining room was an outstanding silent auction of both Chipper memorabilia and current roster autographed items. The silent auction at the Chipper luncheon raised an outstanding $20,000 for the Atlanta Braves Foundation.
The silent auction at Chipper’s luncheon wasn’t the only thing generating over $20,000 in funds for the Atlanta Braves Foundation, as our 50/50 Raffle at that night’s game raised nearly $21,000 for the Foundation, as well as nearly $21,000 for one very lucky fan. The weekend celebration came to an end with Chipper’s induction to the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame. Included in the ceremony were other Braves Hall of Famer’s Bobby Cox, Ted Turner, and Dale Murphy. Chipper’s number is now permanently on the third base line with those of Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz.