The weekend-long Chipper Jones fete at Turner Field produced plenty of opportunities to reminisce about old times, from the third baseman's leading role on all those division-winning Atlanta Braves teams to the individual accomplishments and numbers that will some day land him in the Hall of Fame.
Our favorite part of the recent "Larry Wayne, this is your life" tribute, though, came in the surfacing of a YouTube video featuring a young Chipper Jones pitching in his high school playoffs. Though he was made the No. 1 pick in the 1990 amateur draft as a shortstop for the value of his bat, Chipper was also a heck of a high school pitcher at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla.
Here's what the Florida High School Athletic Association wrote before inducting Jones into its Hall of Fame earlier this year:
As a sophomore at Bolles, Jones earned first team all-state honors, posting a 6-3 record with 87 strikeouts and a 1.89 ERA as a pitcher and hitting a .391 batting average with seven home runs. In 1989, he played football and baseball, winning first team all-state honors in both sports and winning a state championship in baseball. He also notched the tournament MVP honors and held an 11-1 pitching record with a 0.81 ERA in 84 innings pitched, and 107 strikeouts. In his senior year, the Bulldogs were the state-runner up while Jones compiled a 7-3 record with a 1.00 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 79 innings on the mound, while hitting .488 with 14 stolen bases. Jones won the Gatorade Circle of Champions Florida Baseball Player of the Year, Regional Baseball Player of the Year, and Runner-up National Player of the Year.
Eat your heart out, Todd Van Poppel.
Big BLS H/N: Talking Chop