Chipper gets a ball: The Rawlings Official 2012 Chipper Jones Retirement Baseball
MLB gives Chipper a ball: The Rawlings Official 2012 Chipper Jones Retirement Baseball
Chipper Jones announced at the start of the 2012 MLB Season that this would be his last year in the Majors. Major League Baseball has made that official – no turning back now – with this Official Rawlings Chipper Jones Retirement Baseball.
It isn’t known yet wether or not this ball will be used on the field
UPDATE: It has been confirmed by our site sponsor, USA Sports Marketing, that this ball has in fact made the cut and will be in the starting lineup for Chipper’s Final Home Series — September 28, 29 and 30 — a weekend series with the New York Mets. If you can’t make it to Atlanta for one of these games to ballhawk and snag a gamer, this ball will be available from BigLeagueBaseballs.com supporter Shop USA Sports / USA Sports Marketing. We’re guessing it will be fairly rare.
The Braves have all but confirmed the potential use of this ball. The logo is on the official Chipper Jones Final Season page within their team site. Check out the festivities planned for the first game of the final home stand Friday:
Friday, September 28
Mets vs. Braves at 7:35 pm
Chipper Jones Retirement Ceremony: The Atlanta Braves will honor Chipper Jones in a pregame ceremony before the start of his final home regular-season series.
The first 45,000 fans at the Friday, September 28 game vs the New York Mets will receive a commemorative Chipper Jones print presented by SunTrust.
Friday Night Fireworks: When the last pitch is thrown, don’t get up! Stay in your seat and watch our very own fireworks show light up the Atlanta sky.
Getting your very own official leather MLB game ball isn’t for mere mortals. Consider this list of current MLB Hall of Famers, the only players to ever have their name or likeness stamped on the cowhide of a true game ball – to be used in the field of play:
- Cal Ripken Jr.: 1995 Streak Record “8″ ball.
- Mickey Mantle: 1996 Yankee Stadium Mickey Mantle Day (Statue Unveiling)
- Jackie Robinson: 1997 NL & AL Balls – Jackie Robinson Day / 50th Anniversary of breaking color barrier. Three more balls for Jackie Robinson Day 2004, 2005, 2007.
- Joe DiMaggio: 1998 Joe DiMaggio Day at Yankee Stadium
- Hank Aaron: 1999 25th Anniversary of 715th Home Run
- Cal Ripken Jr.: 2001 Retirement Baseball for Final Home Game (A second Canceled Ball Exists)
- Tony Gwynn: 2001 Retirement Baseball for Final Game (A second version exists)
- Reggie Jackson: 2002 Reggie Jackson Day – Monument Park Plaque Dedication (Use unconfirmed)
- Roberto Clemente: 2004 Roberto Clemente Day
There are also official game-style promo baseballs for the following players, though none of these are believed to have been used, or intended for use in game play: Roger Clemens (300th win), Barry Bonds 600th Home Run, Don Larsen / Yogi Berra (Two balls for World Series Perfect Game Anniversary, one features just Larsen), Ken Griffey Jr. (First return to Seattle), Derek Jeter (300th hit) and Mariano Rivera (602 Record Saves).
This puts the Braves’ star in some very rare company. We’d like to see these types of baseballs become the norm for player retirements and final games, at least when the player has made a significant impact or played his entire career with one team.
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