ATLANTA — Chipper Jones still cant believe how much hes adored in Atlanta.
A near capacity crowd at Turner Field showered him with cheers and praise on Friday night as the Braves retired his No. 10 jersey.
It still doesnt seem real, Jones said. I played baseball. I havent cured cancer or anything. Its almost embarrassing to be getting all this attention and all the accolades. Its so humbling.
Jones, the 1999 NL MVP and an eight-time All-Star, was honored before Atlantas game against Arizona. The former third baseman retired after last seasons playoff loss to St. Louis having played his entire 19-year career with the Braves.
Wearing a gray suit and a red tie, Jones spoke to the Turner Field crowd before he threw out the ceremonial first pitch and was driven around the field to adoring cheers.
Among those joining Jones on stage were former manager Bobby Cox, former owner Ted Turner and former outfielder Dale Murphy, Braves president John Schuerholz, second baseman Dan Uggla, his parents Larry and Lynne Jones and four boys.
Former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter sat in Turners box near the home dugout.
I made it a point not to look my mom and dad in the face because I know if I would have Id have probably lost it, Jones said with a grin. I take great pride in the fact I made it through that whole thing without shedding a tear.
The Braves inducted Jones, the 2008 NL batting champion, into their hall of fame during a luncheon Friday at a downtown hotel. Hank Aaron, baseballs No. 2 career leader in homers, spoke at the luncheon to congratulate Jones.
Jones jersey number joined Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, Phil Niekro, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Aaron, Murphy and Cox on the franchise list of retired numbers.