This is very special for me, because normally I only do this with Brewers players. I think in this case, we can all make an exception.
Chipper Jones is arguably one of the greatest 3rd baseman to ever play the game of baseball. There is no doubt in my mind, that he is the greatest 3rd baseman of my generation. And even though he isn’t a Brewer, he is one of my favorite baseball players. Since today is the final time that he will show his face at Miller Park in a players uniform, I thought it only fair to take a look at some of his highlights against the Brewers. You will note that I focused on home runs, because aside from that, there were not too many other amazing Chipper moments against the Crew. No game winning hits, or game winning defensive plays (we should count ourselves lucky). But do not be deceived, he waxed the Brewers for 19 home runs during his career. Not too shabby.
Chipper Jones, We Hardly Knew Ye
Chipper Jones hit his first home run against the Brewers in 1998. It was career home run number 75 already, which was pretty impressive. The home run was hit to DEEP left field off of Chad Fox (almost forgot he existed) on a 1-2 count. It was in a game at the newly opened Turner Field. Jones hit 2 more homers against the Brewers in 1998, career bombs number 90 and 99. Number 90 came off of Steve Woodard at Old Milwaukee County Stadium, while number 99 was off of Brad Woodall at Turner Field again.
In 1999, he single-handedly swept the Brewers out of County Stadium, by hitting a home run in 3 out of the 4 games in the series. Those bombs came off of Horacio Estrada, David Weathers, and Scott Karl (all possible 2013 nominees for the Hall of Brewers We Won’t Miss). The 3rd and final home run was career number 120 for Chipper, this was only his 5th full year in the league…and it was only May. He tacked on one more home run before 1999 was over, it came against Bill Pulsipher (who?) and it was career number 133 for Chipper.
Chipper hit his first home run at Miller Park on May 1st of 2002. He launched a first inning, first pitch, shot to right center field. Rafael Furcal (current Cardinals jerk) was on base at the time. It came against Brewers “superstar” Ruben Quevedo. It was his 231st career home run.
The next two bombs that Chipper hit, came against current Atlanta Braves teammate Ben Sheets. Chipper launched a 2-run shot and a solo shot off of Sheets, one came at the tail end of 2002 and the other at the start of the 2003 season. Sheets is the only Brewers pitcher Chipper homered off of more than once….oh, no wait….that is not true at all.
On June 7th of 2009, Chipper Jones homered off of Manny Parra (current bullpen disaster) twice in the same game. The first was a solo home run in the 3rd inning, and the second was a 3-run blast. Those counted as career shots number 414 and 415. This was really the only single game where Chipper dismantled the Brewers single-handedly. Not bad, when you consider that he demolished the Phillies and Mets for the past decade and a half.
All-in all, Chipper hit career home runs — 75, 90, 99, 118, 119, 129, 133, 197, 231, 239, 256, 284, 332, 384, 414, 415, 420, 433, and finally number 456 (which happened on April 15th of this season against Chris Narveson) against the Brewers. He homered off of — Chad Fox, Steve Woodard, Brad Woodall, Horacio Estrada, David Weathers, Scott Karl, Bill Pulsipher, Jimmy Haynes, Ruben Quevedo, Ben Sheets (2), Luis Vizcaino, Tomo Ohka, Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra (2), Carlos Villanueva, Dave Bush, and Chris Narveson.
The reason I wrote this is, when I was a kid Paul Molitor left for Toronto and Robin Yount was in the twilight of his career. There were not any Brewers players, after Yount left, who I admired and wanted to be like. Pat Listach and John Jaha where nothing more than one year wonders. Chipper Jones filled that void for me. I remember cheering on the Braves in the 1995 World Series. At that time he was today’s equivalent of Mike Trout. 1995 was the first year that I played little league and I wore number 10 (even though my favorite number was 12) because I wanted to be like Chipper Jones.
Today is the last time we will see him in Miller Park, so if you are going to the game tonight, treat him like the hero he is. Remember, the Braves and Brewers share a very strong history together. So in a way, Chipper is kind of a Brewer at heart…at least for me.
Thank you Chipper, for everything you have given the game of baseball. I wish that I could repay you for what you gave me in my childhood, but this will have to do. Best of luck to you in all of your future endeavors. And thank you for joining Twitter. You are a laugh riot.