After Wednesday’s series finale, Chipper Jones signed his jersey for several players including one for Bryce Harper and another for Stephen Strasburg. Before the game, the Nationals honored Jones in likely his last game at Nationals Park in his final season before retiring with a ceremony and showed a video of his career highlights and heartfelt words from former teammates Mark DeRosa and Adam LaRoche.
They presented him with a base signed by Nationals players, his bat that smacked the first-ever home run in Nationals Park history and a photo of him with DeRosa and LaRoche.
“First one where I started to get a little misty,” Jones said afterward. “To have some of my best friends in the game of baseball out there talking on the scoreboard, standing out there with me, it was — not ashamed to say it, I’m one of the many people to have a man-crush on Ryan Zimmerman, too — to have those three guys standing out there, it meant a lot to me, along with Mike Rizzo.”
Again, in case you read past it in his long thought on the ceremony, Jones admitted his admiration of Zimmerman. Zimmerman has said he looked up to fellow third baseman Jones, among other players, growing up.
Seated at his locker following the game and after he talked with reporters, Jones signed a jersey for Strasburg with a silver marker. Players often sign memorabilia for each other. Jones’s message for Strasburg, who he holds in high regard: “You’re a bad dude” and signed his name at the bottom of his number.
For Harper, a player Jones has developed a closer connection with this season, he signed “good luck” and “Don’t hesitate to call.”