|Pages||Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jonesone of the greatest switch hitters in baseball historyshares his remarkable story while capturing the magic nostalgia that sets baseball apart from every other sport Before Chipper Jones became an eight time All Star who amassed Hall of Fameworthy statistics during a nineteen year career with the Atlanta Braves he was just a country kid from small town Pierson Florida A kid who grew up playing baseball in the backyard with his dad dreaming that one day hed be a major league ballplayer With his trademark candor and astonishing recall Chipper Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career in an era of booming free agency His journey begins with learning the art of switch hitting and takes off after the Braves made him the number one overall pick in the 1990 draft setting him on course to become the linchpin of their lineup at the height of their fourteen straight division title run Ballplayer takes readers into the clubhouse of the Braves extraordinary dynasty from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last gasp division win by the 2005 Baby Braves all the while sharing pitch by pitch dissections of clashes at the plate with some of the all time great starters such as Clemens and Johnson as well as closers such as Wagner and Papelbon He delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and his famous Braves brothersMaddux Glavine Smoltz among themand opponents from Cal Ripken Jr to Barry Bonds The National League MVP also opens up about his overnight rise to superstardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame his spirited rivalry with the New York Mets his reflections on baseball in the modern eraoutrageous money steroids and alland his special last season in 2012 Ballplayer immerses us in the best of baseball as if were sitting next to Chipper in the dugout on an endless spring day|
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