I always look forward to this time of year when the newest slate of candidates are picked to be enshrined in Cooperstown. The last several years have been especially uplifting because so many members of my beloved Atlanta Braves have made the Hall of Fame. Greg Maddux, Tommy Glavine, John Smoltz, Bobby Cox and one or two more whom I can’t recall right now have all taken their places on the bronze plaques.
Most of the recent inductees I had the pleasure to watch as members of the dominant Braves teams of the 1990s. These were the teams that Papa Wham loved so much in his sunset years. Well this year, one of Papa’s favorite players, and one of mine too, is going into the Hall. Larry “Chipper” Jones will be inducted after an overwhelming election on his first Baseball Writers Association ballot.
I watched Chipper’s entire career — a career spent entirely with Atlanta. As a matter of fact, I was lucky enough to see Chipper play in person several times when the Braves’ AA minor league team was in Greenville. He got a lot of buzz at the beginning of the 90s. Some people were pegging him the second coming of Cal Ripen, Jr. While I’m not going to fight it out with any fans of “The Ironman” close examination does reveal Chipper had better raw numbers than Cal.
So now, after watching Chipper’s career start to finish, I get to see him go into the Hall of Fame. The only thing that would make it much more special would be if Papa was here to share the moment with me, but I’m sure he’s got a good seat to watch the proceedings and I know he’s proud.
Love y’all and keep your feet clean!