Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/23/14

27 Feb 1998: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves signs autographs for the fans during a Spring Training game against the Kansas City Royals at the Disney Wide World of Sports Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Royals defeated the Braves 3-2. Mandatory
NEW YORK (AP) -- Every which way Chipper Jones turned at Citi Field, someone wanted to thank him. Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon presented the Atlanta star with a pricey piece of 3-D artwork. A policeman gave him a firm handshake, an usher provided a pat on the back. A man intercepted Jones in the hallway near the clubhouse, reached into a shopping bag and handed over the Braves flag that flew over Shea Stadium and a framed part of the outfield wall. "I sure appreciate it," Jones told the memorabilia dealer. Sure was a lot of love for someone who spent almost two decades tormenting the New York Mets. Jeered, heckled and serenaded with derisive chants of "Lar-ry! Lar-ry!" for years, Jones arrived at the ballpark Friday for his final series in Queens. The retiring 40-year-old slugger was treated like a king, too, showered with smiles and compliments as he greeted fans behind the cage during batting practice. "Kind of weird," he said during a pregame news conference, "for everybody to be out here for little ol' me." Jones even drew more polite applause than boos when he was introduced before the first pitch. He stepped out of the dugout and waved his cap in acknowledgment. But when he stepped up to hit in the opening inning, it was back to normal. Louder boos, a couple fans chanting his actual first name and then a groundout. About 2 hours earlier, Jones said he wasn't certain what kind of reaction he would receive, adding, "I like to think it will be somewhat mixed." Asked what he would think about Chipper Jones if he were a Mets fan, he smiled and said: "I would respect the body of work, but I would hate his guts." Jones hit the first two home runs of his career at Shea, and liked the ballpark so much that his 8-year-old son is named Shea. "His room has been decorated in orange and blue from the get-go," Jones said. The boy's bedroom also features two seats from Shea. Before unveiling the piece of artwork that portrayed the now-demolished Shea -- where Jones did most of his damage -- Wilpon playfully said the eight-time All-Star assured him he wouldn't be returning to the ballpark after this weekend. Jones has gotten plenty of presents from opposing teams on his farewell tour, including a surfboard in San Diego, the Braves flag that flew over Wrigley Field and his No. 10 from scoreboard at Fenway Park. Jones is far from done, though. The Braves host the Mets to end this month and hope to keep playing deep into October. They lead the NL wild-card race and, who knows, could be back in New York next month for a World Series matchup with the Yankees. In the meantime, Jones hopes to finish strong. He came into the game batting .304 -- his exact career average. Winding up well was especially important to him. "I haven't heard anybody say you should've retired three years ago," he said. "I didn't want people to be saying it was sad to see Chipper Jones playing that last year." Mets manager Terry Collins said there was never any doubting Jones' ability, from the days when he was "the up and coming guy." "Everybody knew he was going to be great and he turned out that way," Collins said. Jones particularly excelled at Shea, hitting .313 with 19 home runs -- his most at any opposing park -- and 55 RBIs in 88 games. Overall, he began the weekend as a career .314 hitter against the Mets with 49 home runs and 158 RBIs. For all that success, Jones said his fondest recollection of a game against the Mets was a loss. It was in 2001, in the first game in New York after the 911 terrorist attacks, when players from both teams met on the field for pregame hugs and handshakes. "Etched in my memory forever," he said. For many years, Jones said, his New York experience was limited. Trips to the city consisted of sleeping, going to the ballpark, playing the game and going back to the hotel, rarely venturing out. "This place was awfully intimidating," he said. Now, he enjoys walking the streets and interacting with the same fans who boo him at the stadium. "Nicest people on the planet," he said. He's also worked on perfecting his New York accent, and offered a snippet during his pregame news conference. "Yo! Chip-puh," he tried, drawing laughs.

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift, blames media for scrutiny

Report: Cowboys could limit DeMarco Murray's touches

Lakers announce Steve Nash to miss season with back issues


Is Mack Brown the best option for SMU?

Jeremy Kerley on new contract: 'Bentleys for everybody'

Buss: Any FA who won’t play with Kobe ‘probably a loser’

NFL to start airing its own anti-domestic violence PSAs

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

Would World Series win make the Giants a dynasty?

NFL teams facing potential must-win scenarios in Week 8

WATCH: Jeremy Lin poses as Adidas employee for prank

WATCH: Peyton screams at fans to 'shut the f- up!'

Father auctioning off infant son's soccer club allegiance

Love thanks T'Wolves fans in essay for not burning his jersey

WATCH: Browns WR 'kicks out' son over favorite player snub

Memorabilia dealer wants Todd Gurley reinstated immediately

Aaron Rodgers gave girlfriend Olivia Munn a 'special ring'?

The 10 college football programs with most to gain in Week 9

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

On Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and embracing newfound roles

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.