ATLANTA — Chipper Jones wasn’t expecting his latest award.
From the 1999 NL MVP trophy to his eight All-Star nominations, the former Atlanta Braves great accumulated plenty of hardware over his illustrious 19-year career, but getting one recognizing his performance on TV is a new one.
"I spent my whole career trying to win ballgames and win Gold Gloves and batting titles and stuff like there. Certainly never thought an Emmy would be in the stars for me," Jones said. "(Former teammate) Brian McCann won one a few years back and he let the whole clubhouse know about it. So now to have one in my corner, I can at least say, ‘Ha, I’ve got one, too.’"
Jones was handed his Emmy Award for his role in telling his life’s story as a part of FOX Sports South’s DRIVEN series on Friday night — the series was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Southeast Chapter in the category Television News and Program Specialty Excellence for DRIVEN: The Chipper Jones Story on June 7. Joining Jones in the show’s recognition were FOX Sports South’s Keith Wetzler (senior producer), Kevin Allison (producer/editor), Zach Whipple (editor) and Dan Greene (videographer).
Long considered one of the greatest clubhouse quotes in baseball, Jones’s career is arguably the most celebrated in Atlanta Braves history. After being selected by the Braves as the No. 1 overall player in the country in the 1990 MLB Draft, Jones played every single one of his 2,499 games for Atlanta. He ranks in the organization’s top-10 all-time in career WAR, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, home runs and RBI, trailing only Hall of Famer Hank Aaron in four of those categories.
And when you get a quote machine discussing his excellent career — going all the way back to his days in Little League, working with his father and namesake, Larry, in the family’s backyard — then usually it becomes good television. The NATAS Southeast Chapter certainly thought so.
It also helps that so much of the show utilizes old home videos from when a young Chipper was still honing his craft, particularly at the plate, allowing for plenty of pre-Braves source material to work with. The Emmy voters can thank the the Jones family for that.
"My parents used to tape every single game. My mother would sit there behind the backstop or in the outfield and we used to have drawers upon drawers of baseball games: Little League and Babe Ruth and American Legion and high school," Jones said. "And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why?’ And now I know."
Shedding tears. Hard to watch 'Driven' without getting a little misty. Thanks again to all u fans!
"I don’t know about actors, we’re just on TV," Jones said. "I will say this: that ‘Chicks Dig The Long Ball’ commercial is phenomenal. I thought it was great. I saw it again for the first time in a long time the other day and I laughed my rear end off."
For the record, Jones has yet to reach out to McCann about his matching hardware.
"You can bet I’m gonna float him a text sometime soon."