In his athletic prime, Chipper Jones could play a mean third base. However, Jones—now nine years removed from a Hall-of-Fame playing career spanning two decades—showed little evidence of his past defensive prowess as a spectator Monday afternoon in Atlanta. Taking in Game 3 of the NLDS between his beloved Braves and the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, Jones camped out under a popup in foul ground but—much to the embarrassment of his friends and family—couldn’t come up with it, reacting as though he’d just been bit by a snake. That is what the Gen Z’ers would call a “tough scene.”
Glove or not, that’s a ball that should be caught. Jones, who was sporting a pair of rather expensive-looking shades, can’t even use the sun as an excuse. But rather than hang his head, the former NL MVP took his mistake in stride, laughing it off with his son as a nearby fan scooped up the souvenir.
That’s the kind of resiliency and determination that breeds champions and certainly Jones, who accrued 243 big-league errors (and now another in retirement), has never been afraid of failure. After winning just 88 games in the regular season—the fewest of this year’s 10 playoff participants—the Braves began their postseason run with low expectations but have surprisingly held their own against Milwaukee, stealing Game 2 on the road while blanking the Brewers through six innings Monday at Truist Park.