Chipper gets a nod in final trip to Stadium

Chipper gets a nod in final trip to Stadium

Chipper gets a nod in final trip to Stadium
NEW YORK -- The Yankees held a ceremony at home plate prior to Wednesday's game honoring Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who has announced that he will conclude his 19-year Major League career at the end of the season.

Derek Jeter and former Atlanta teammate Andruw Jones presented Jones with a custom case containing third base from Tuesday's 4-3 Braves victory, marking Jones' final regular-season start at Yankee Stadium.

"It's hard to believe how long we've played this game, the good things he did in his career playing this game," Andruw Jones said. "I'm sure he thinks, deep in his heart, he thinks he can still play some more. But [after] too many injuries and feeling it when you get up in the morning, that's why I think he made this decision."

The 40-year-old Jones received a warm ovation from the crowd, tipping his cap toward the Yankees' dugout as he left the field. Mark Teixeira, a former teammate in Atlanta, said that he thought the presentation was "great."

"Chipper was one of my favorite teammates," Teixeira said. "I absolutely loved playing with him, loved hitting behind him in the lineup. We had a lot of fun together, a lot of success together, two switch-hitters batting three-four."

Andruw Jones, who said he first met Chipper Jones when the latter was rehabbing an injury at the Braves' Minor League complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., said that he also remembers the switch-hitter as being a "great teammate."

"He'd go out there and get the job done every day," Jones said. "He used to play every day. He never asked for a day off. He'd just go out there and play every day."

Jones may be better known in New York for his damage across town against the Mets -- he named a son Shea because he found Shea Stadium such an inviting place to hit -- but he is also retiring as a .340 lifetime hitter in Interleague action against the Yankees with five homers and 18 RBIs in 27 games.

He didn't fare as well in two World Series against the Bombers, hitting a combined .225 (9-for-40) with a homer and five RBIs in the 1996 and '99 Fall Classics.

"It was a very nice gesture, especially the battles that the Yankees and Braves have had in the World Series in the past," Teixeira said. "I thought it was first class on our part and his part too. He tipped the cap to New York fans, which he's not used to doing at Shea and Citi Field."