Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 7/12/12

Most baseball fans of Chipper Jones knows his at bat song is Ozzie Osbourne's "Crazy Train".

After this weekend it may be changed to "Kansas City."..... "Kansas City Here I Come" the first lyrics of the popular song. The Atlanta Braves star third baseman not only told people he was "going to Kansas City," but in one weekend, he "conquered" the city.

Last night Chipper Jones played for the "first" time in his long baseball career a game in Kansas City, BUT, be sure, he'll never forget it. Jones, retiring after the season, singled as a pinch-hitter in the All-Star game in his first-ever appearance at Kauffman Stadium. In a quirk of inter-league scheduling, the Braves have "never" played in Kansas City. That didn't matter to Kansas City, or Missouri fans, the 40 year-old Jones received a standing ovation from the sold out crowd and his All-Star teammates when he came to the plate in the sixth inning, and got another appreciative roar after singling off Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale's first-pitch fastball. "It was kind of hard to see 97 (mph) coming out of Sale's 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 second baseman Ian Kinsler and into the outfield, Jones was trying to leg out a hit. "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's exactly how I scripted it."

When asked if he was showing "reverence" by allowing Chipper Jones ground ball to skirt past him for a "hit", the Texas Ranger All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler said,(with a straight face) he would never do such a thing and was simply not "warmed" up enough to make a more aggressive attempt to field the ball. With the Stadium crowd roaring their approval, and players from both All-Star teams clapping and cheering, Chipper Jones stood standing on first base beaming a smile that could have lit up Kauffman Stadium. At that moment I believe Chipper Jones added Ian Kinsler to his Christmas card list. Last night the score didn't matter. Not for Chipper Jones. As he moves toward the final months of his storied career, he stands as one of the greatest third baseman in baseball history.

Long after fans left the stadium, and All-Star players were hurriedly making travel reservations or party plans, two men were in no hurry to leave the locker room, wanting to savor every last moment. Chipper Jones, who earlier donated his bat and cap to the Hall of Fame, took his time stashing away the last All-Star jersey of his career, and Tony La Russa, was sitting back in his office chair, reminiscing about the final six outs of the game, and soaking up the atmosphere. La Russa, who retired from the game after last years World Series win, tells friends, "This is the final game I'll ever manage." He also tells friends, "this is also the final All-Star game Chipper Jones ever plays."

Finally, Jones packed his bags, walked towards the clubhouse door, and stopped at La Russa's office. He peeked inside, saw La Russa, walked over, and firmly shook his All-Star managers hand thanking him for everything. La Russa looked at him, and emotionally said, "Thank you for everything. Hope you make it to October."
Together, they shared a night they'll cherish forever.

This was Chipper Jones eighth All-Star game. Jones called the weekend "surreal."
Since arriving in the city Monday to enjoy his final All-Star game Jones was treated "royally" by players, and Kansas City fans who never had a chance to see him play in their city.
Don't be surprised if the next time Jones heads to the batters box at Turner Field his "at bat" song "CRAZY TRAIN'S" replaced with "KANSAS CITY", its a natural.....
Chipper Jones - (a class act.)

Larry Upton
"Upton on Sports"-source:mlb.com/usatoday/

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