Chipper Jones made a fresh stop on his farewell tour.
The Braves’ 3rd baseman, who is retiring after the season, singled as a pinch hitter in the All-Star Game in his 1st-ever appearance at Kauffman Stadium.
In a quirk of interleague scheduling, the Atlanta Braves haven’t played in Kansas City.
The 40-year-old Jones received an enthusiastic ovation from the admirers when he came to the plate in the 6th inning and got another appreciative roar after singling off Chris Sales.
”It was kind of tough to see 97 (miles per hour) leaving Sales’ hand,” Jones said. ”You’re not going to get a base hit if you don’t swing the bat.”
Before his grounder made it past 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler and into the outfield, Jones was making an attempt to let out a hit. 10-cent line
”Yeah, I was thinking beat it out all the way,” Jones said. ”At 40 years old, legging out a hit in the All-Star Game. That is exactly how I scripted it.”
National League manager Tony La Russa advised that Jones, an 8-time All-Star, address the team before the game. Jones claimed during the media day before the home run derby that he wasn’t keen on speeches.
But he took La Russa up on the offer.
”We’ve won 2. Win 3 and that’s a winning streak,” Jones said to the team. ”We have a chance to do that tonight. And I am not going out losing my last one, so, you with me?”
It actually appeared that they were.
Meanwhile, Bryce Harper eventually acted his age at the All-Star game.
The 19-year-old Nationals phenom lost a fly ball in the lights and got hung up between 2nd and 3rd Tues. night during the National League’s 8-0 victory over the American League. At the plate, he was 0 for 1 with a strikeout and a walk.
Still, his gaffe in left field and rundown on the bases didn’t stop Harper from savoring the moment.
”It was a lot of fun. It was a great game,’ ‘ he revealed.
The only All-Stars younger than Harper were two 19-year-old pitchers: Dwight Gooden of the N.Y Mets in 1984 and Hall of Famer Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians in 1938.
That made Harper the youngest position player to be selected for an All-Star team, maybe qualifying more for his potential than for his production. He was batting .282 at the break with 8 homers and 25 RBIs.
Harper was among an All-Star-record five rookies this year, another than in 2001 and 2003. The 2001 class is pretty distinguished – Albert Pujols, Jimmy Rollins, Ben Sheets and Ichiro Suzuki. In 2003, the rookies who made it were Lance Carter, Mike MacDougal, Hideki Matsui and Dontrelle Willis.
Among other rookies, 20-year-old Mike Trout of the Angels had a success, a walk and a stolen base. Wade Miley of the Diamondbacks permitted a hit in 1/3 of an inning and Ryan Cook of the Athletics worked a scoreless inning.
”I’m going to remember this for the remainder of my life,” Trout asserted.