Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Article excerpt

LAST CHANCE TO SEE CHIPPER?

With all the hullabaloo around town this week about where current high school athletes will be attending college, it's understandable that news about a former Bolles baseball player would be swept under the rug without much thought. Earlier this week, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones added to his legend by knocking the cover off a baseball, literally, during a batting practice session at Turner Field.

He's 38 years old, and he knocked the cover off a baseball!

Jones is going through a rehab process after arthroscopic knee surgery and hopes to be on the field for the Braves on opening day. He hasn't started taking groundballs at third, but he still has spring training to iron out any kinks in his body.

I played high school baseball in Jacksonville and although I graduated in 2003, 13 years after Jones was drafted No. 1 overall, the stories from his high school days were still being told around town.

I'm sure the stories of 500-foot home runs and backhanded stabs at third base are now being told about former Wolfson standout Billy Butler (he struck me out twice after he hit an opposite field home run with the flick of his wrist, no exaggeration).

I plan to make a trip to Orlando to see Jones in person at spring training, and I recommend the trip to anyone who loves pure baseball. Seeing your heroes play at Turner Field is always a treat, but spring training is a horse of a different color. Big league talent, up close and personal.

So, go early and watch Chipper. Stay late and watch Chipper.

Bring your son and tell him to keep his eyes on Chipper the whole time. The legend of Jones started at Bolles, and there's no telling how much longer he can keep going at the highest level.

2 CENTS

Bill Murray has starred in a number of comedies over the years with plenty of awards and laughter along the way. But with all the fame he's received from films like "Caddyshack" and "Ghostbusters," his residual checks from the month of February probably do more to support his celebrity lifestyle than all of his other works combined. …

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