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Influence on the game
Tony DeMacio: I don't think there's any question that guys like him and Maddux and Glavine and Smoltzy, that they've had a tremendous impact on the state ... That's why the state of Georgia has become one of the hotbeds in the country.
B.B. Abbott: The long stretch of success that the Braves had — from '95 for a long, long stretch, for 13 years — was [it] a coincidence that amateur baseball in Georgia hit a major boom? No. I mean there's no coincidence at all.
Tony DeMacio: A lot of the players — young kids in high school or even elementary school — they look up to these guys.
B.B. Abbott: Georgia is really the fourth state in drafted players in the entire nation behind Texas and California and Florida. Georgia was never thought of — back in the early '00s, late '90s — as that state. Soon, East Cobb and all of these programs start to sprout up.
Brian McCann: I was such a huge fan growing up as a kid; I just would come down and watch the games. I didn't really understand what was going on. I just enjoyed watching baseball; he was the big name.
Gordon Beckham (White Sox Second Baseman, 2009-Present; Atlanta native): Throughout my Little League career, but especially [the] year we were the Braves, I had really high socks because that's the way Chipper wore them. I just remember watching him play as a younger kid and then growing up having him always be there, always be playing third base.
Frank Wren: You look at the kids in the stands and the number they have on their back to know what an impact he's had on our fans and kids across the Southeast who want to grow up to be Chipper Jones. That's a pretty easy survey to take anytime you go to a Braves game.
Chip Caray: I think, to me, he's one of the most humble superstars that there's been in the game ... he was always accessible, always approachable, always accountable.
Don Baylor: I've been around a bunch of [superstars] who were different, maybe not to the players but to a writer or a fan or something. Chipper was not that way.
Jim Powell: For him to be the most iconic and popular Brave — one of them in the history of the franchise — and to still treat people that way, I was astounded.
Chip Caray: He likes to hunt and fish and go back to the ranch and stuff. That's who he is. He'd be the first to tell you that he's a country kid from central Florida who had a talent to hit a baseball and play third base, and that's why he's here.
Martin Prado: [He's also] a good person and a good human being and that really tells you everything about him.
Chip Caray: A couple of times a year, we'll sit in a hotel bar after a ball game, grab a ball, and talk about baseball. And we talk a lot about things besides baseball, which I think is another thing that made him so interesting to me ... We all get wrapped up in looking at these players as numbers who make salaries and hit the baseball. This is what they do, but it's not who they are. I think who Chipper Jones is far supersedes the back of his bubble gum card.
Jim Powell: Forget about whether the guy can play or not, we're all going to end up six feet underground someday — every single one of us, whether we can hit in the major leagues or not. It's how you treat people when you're on this earth. Chipper Jones is a Hall of Famer in that regard.
End of the Road
David O'Brien: I have to admit he had seasons, five or six years ago, where we wondered if his career was over. I mean, he had the foot problems, we thought he was going to have to have surgery. He had that for a year, he had stress fractures down there, all kinds of stuff, there was always some nagging thing.
Terry Pendleton: He's attempted to play at every opportunity he could. He's had some injuries that knocked him down to where he can't do anything.
Chip Caray: The greatest tragedy I can say of a player is, "What if?" What if he hadn't been hurt? What if he hadn't gone out to military service? What if he hadn't slammed into the wall? I think the great thing about Chipper Jones is that he has left everything he has on the field.
David O'Brien: This is a guy that played 150 to 162 games, people also forget that, that for the first eight years of his career... [Could he have] stayed healthy? I don't know ... the fact that he's playing at age 40 and producing the way he is pretty much tells me to shut the hell up.
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