It’s never a good feeling when one of your favorite baseball players refuses to sign an autograph for you. I had it happen plenty through my younger days. Gary Sheffield completely ignored me, Frank Robinson gave me a flat out “no,” and Brian Giles drove by the fans outside PNC Park all week long during my trip to Pittsburgh over a decade ago. Professional athletes are not obligated to sign autographs and it absolutely sucks.
Chipper Jones, an idol of many kids growing up in the 1990s, apparently spurned an autograph seeker back in the late 1990s. I don’t doubt that it happened and I’m sure it did ruin the young fan’s day. During this time the Atlanta Braves were a very good team. Usually when teams are winning there are a lot more fans wanting their autographs and not even can get one. Worse than this excuse, their heads inflate and they don’t feel the need to please the fans.
Since I wasn’t there I can only assume the former Larry Wayne fan is legitimate based on my own experiences. Twice I attempted to get autographs from the Braves outside of Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia around the same time period. The first opportunity nobody signed and I only remember a few of the players waving (as if that’s what anyone wanted). The second time around included the Sheffield shuffle (that’s what I call the way he swiftly entered the stadium as if no one was around). A few players did sign including Javy Lopez, Rafael Furcal, and Tim Spooneybarger. Jones was never even spotted as it would have been a madhouse to get his ‘graph.
The way Jones responded to this bitter fan upsets me a little bit because he’s supposed to be the role model here. I’m sure a whole army of 1990s kids will agree Jones never signed for them either.
The next time Jones gets called up it’s probably best he has a sense of humor about it and not sink down to the fan’s level. I’d also like to see his grammar improve. Then again, that’s too much to ask for a guy nickname Chipper, isn’t it?