I always said I wasn't going to discuss this publicly, but I'm tired of the supposed "Braves Fam" bullying me about it, so here's why I'm not a Chipper fan.
He made my brother cry.
My mom was sick pretty often when I was a kid. I won't go into details, but it's a chronic (and possibly eventually terminal) illness, and I ended up mothering my little brother as much as sistering him since my dad worked two, sometimes three jobs. "Can you fix Brother a snack?" "Can you make sure Brother gets a bath?" and so on.
The three of us also have "unidentified" bleeding disorders, and are treated by the same doctors who care for cancer patients. So when we were <18, we were often invited to Make-A-Wish Foundation parties and dinners. At one of these Christmas parties, Chipper and his first wife Karin were in attendance. He signed autographs for a long line of kids before we got up there. He took a picture with us...
Then asked Brother...
Chipper: Do you play ball, kid?
Brother: Yes sir, I'm a pitcher.
Chipper [nasally exhaling]: Pitching sucks, you should play third base.
Brother: [eyes well up]
Karin : You need to apologize; little kids don't get sarcasm.
Chipper: You need to sit down and shut up.
1. Brother was an all-star pitcher / center fielder.
2. His wife was correct, little kids don't understand sarcasm. He cried all the way home and was upset for days afterwards. In his mind, a Brave just told him HE sucked.
3. He did not apologize, and about half the parents in earshot left the line and didn't allow their kids to speak to him.
I do not hate Chipper Jones. I appreciate Chipper's on-field contributions to the Braves over the last two decades. His numbers certainly show that he deserves to be in the hall of fame.
However. I do not appreciate fans, media, and anyone else saying that it's impossible to be a Braves fan without being a Chipper fan. I do not appreciate the personal attacks I've received over this non-issue. I do not understand why people are taking it personally that I am not a fan of their favorite player.
Dale Murphy is my all-time favorite Brave. If you don't like Murph - or any of my other favorite Braves - that's fine. I'm sure you have your reasons. It really has nothing to do with me.
I think that's what all this boils down to... there is no shortage of stories about how "Chipper was so nice when I met him" or "Chipper was so rude to me / my family". If he's your guy because you like how he plays the game and you talked to him for 20 seconds at an autograph session, that's great. But I'm not a fan, and unless you are Mr. Jones and reading this, it has nothing to do with you or your personal feelings about Chipper.
Today I taught the Young Women at church about forgiveness. It's something we all have to continually work on. Again, I don't hate Chipper and with an adult perspective it's easy to realize he was just being sarcastic/flippant, but it was a long drive home and a long few days after that event.
To recap: I love the Braves. I do not love Chipper. I definitely believe he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and I hope no other Brave ever wears #10 or uses "Crazy Train". And it's okay if you feel differently than I do.