July 3, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (10) celebrates with teammates and fans after coming out of the game in the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Jones will play his first game in the beautifully renovated Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday night as a NL reserve -- the only park he hasn't played in.
Chipper Jones was named to his 8th All-Star game in his final season, replacing injured Matt Kemp on the NL roster. He didn't have to win the final vote to get in. He responded to the good news of taking place in this year's mid season classic by going 5-5 with 4 RBI on Tuesday against the Cubs. Jones commented that "Tonight was just one of those dream games, I would be hard-pressed to find a game in which I played better."
Bryce Harper and Mike Trout will bring some youthful exuberance to the All-Star game, but even they realize that Jones warrants more attention in what is another stop in his farewell tour. "Being able to come here for Chipper's last (All-Star) game is going to be amazing," said Harper, who was 3 when Jones made his first trip. "To be able to tell my kids that I saw Chipper for the last time?"
I find it perfectly fitting that one of the all time best switch hitters gets the opportunity to play in Kauffman Stadium, the only park he hasn't played in. Jones has been very productive in his 19th and final season, hitting .318-396-480 with 6 homers and 33 RBI. Durability has been an issue later in his career, averaging just 121 games a season from 2005-2011. He's played 49 games thus far, but his numbers prove he's worthy of taking place in the festivities, and is more than just a sentiment.
The future Hall of Fame inductee will also be honored in a pregame ceremony on Sept. 28th before the Braves open up their final regular season series in Turner Field. Team president John Schuerholz says the Braves will use the ceremony to show Jones "how much he has meant to us."