Chipper Jones' long-awaited final road trip to play the New York Mets is upon us this weekend and the Atlanta Braves third baseman will be receiving about the best honor while he's there. Foley's NY, a baseball-mad bar in Manhattan that's home to the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame, is changing its name to "Chipper's" for the three-game series and will be offering 10 different varieties of chips in his honor.
Sometimes you have to tip your cap to your opponent. There are few opponents in recent memory who have been as successful as Chipper Jones a visiting player in New York City. While Chipper has broken the hearts of many Mets fans over the years, New Yorkers are as knowledgeable as anyone and they know greatness when they see it -- even when it resulted in disappointment for their hometown team.
Having an Irish pub in New York named in your honor is pretty cool — especially since it previously attracted some PR for banning Danny Boy — and the gift has to shoot up near the top of our ranking of the awards that Chipper has received on his retirement tour.
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He's bound to get a few more gifts, though, in the city that has developed a well-known begrudging respect for the player that has burned the Mets repeatedly over the years. Jones hit his first big-league homer at Shea Stadium on May 9, 1995 and Robert Weintraub of the New York Times has a good accounting of the 17-year history between Jones and New Yorkers that followed. Jones played 88 regular-season games at Shea Stadium, compiling a line of .313/.407/.557 with 19 homers and 55 RBIs in that time. (An aging Chipper has been far less successful in Queens since Citi Field opened in 2009, going .208/.308/.377 with three homers and 14 RBIs over 22 games.)
At any rate, it'll be interesting to see what Chipper officially receives from the Mets. The fans will certainly serenade him with a few final rounds of "Larry" (his first name) and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post sends Jones off with a unique gift of his own — a look at where he ranks among baseball's greatest Larrys.
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