SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chipper Jones got a warm send-off from San Diego, the city in which he made his big league debut for the Atlanta Braves in 1993.
The retiring star third baseman received a nice ovation when he came to the plate leading off the second inning Wednesday. He stepped out of the box and tipped his batting helmet to the crowd.
When he came up for the final time at Petco Park, he received a standing ovation from the crowd of 16,845. Again, he backed out and tipped his helmet, and then singled to center.
“Obviously, a nice gesture by the fans a couple of times today,” Jones said after the Braves lost to the Padres 8-2. “It was nice to get a hit in my last at-bat. I’ve always enjoyed coming here to San Diego. It’s been one of my favorite places to come.”
Jones is calling it quits at the end of this year. He made his debut for the Braves on Sept. 11, 1993, against the Padres, who played at Qualcomm Stadium back then.
He didn’t leave town with a win, though. Playing in front of their new owners, Chase Headley and the Padres won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Headley hit a two-run single and left-hander Eric Stults won his fourth straight decision as San Diego took two of three from the Braves, who lead the NL wild-card race.
The third generation of the O’Malley family was introduced at a news conference earlier Wednesday, promising to run the Padres in the same first-class manner that Walter and Peter O’Malley once ran the Dodgers. The new ownership group includes Peter O’Malley’s sons, Kevin and Brian, and nephews Peter and Tom Seidler. It also includes San Diego businessman Ron Fowler, the executive chairman who has been designated as the team’s control person. The group bought the Padres for $800 million from John Moores.
The new owners had to have liked what they saw.
NOTES: Both teams were off Thursday. The Braves return home to open a series against Philadelphia on Friday, when Mike Minor (7-10, 4.71 ERA) is scheduled to start opposite Roy Halladay (8-7, 3.88).