07/03/12 7:08 PM ET
Chipper picked to join NL All-Star roster
Braves third baseman to replace Kemp, make eighth and final appearance
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Jones received word just before he and his Braves teammates began Tuesday night's game against the Cubs at Turner Field. This will be the eighth All-Star Game for the 40-year-old third baseman, who will retire at the conclusion of this season.
"I'm flattered to go to this year's All-Star Game with this being my last year and my last opportunity to do so," Jones said. "But I'm more excited for my boys, because this is the first that they're going to and I can't wait to see the look in their eyes when they see balls sailing out of the ballpark in the [Sate Farm Home Run Derby, Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN]."
When Jones travels to Kansas City for next week's All-Star Game, his contingent of friends and family members will include each of his four sons -- Matthew, Trey, Shea and Tristan.
"I'm going to be a kid in a candy store carrying four other kids in a candy store," Jones said.
When Jones did not gain an All-Star selection on Sunday, he was one of five players added to the NL's Final Vote ballot. He was leading as of Tuesday morning. But now that he has secured his spot, he is pushing Braves fans to vote for Braves outfielder Michael Bourn.
"The one reason I'm really glad it happened today is because now we can all vote for Mike Bourn and get him there," Jones said. "Mike Bourn has been our most valuable player this year. He has jump-started our offense time and time again. When he came over to shake my hand to congratulate me, I told him he was coming with. ... So we've got to get him there."
National League manager Tony La Russa made this decision to add Jones' veteran presence to his roster. The former NL MVP Award winner has batted .291 with six home runs and a .828 OPS in 45 games for the Braves this year.
"I don't have any expectations," Jones said. "I'm going to tell Tony, 'If you want to sit me on the bench for nine innings, you're not going to hurt my feelings.' I really don't have any expectations for the game itself, other than to sit there and cheerlead. If he does call my number, I'll step up there and take a couple of whacks and see what happens."
Jones' first All-Star experience occurred when he started at third base for the NL in 1996. He was joined in Philadelphia that year by fellow Braves legends Bobby Cox, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine.
This has already been a season filled with special moments for Jones.
Jones began the season on the disabled list and then homered when he made his season debut against the Astros on April 10. Five days later, while playing his first game of the year in Atlanta, he homered again to give the Braves a lead they would not squander against the Brewers.
Having grown up a Dodgers fan, Jones homered at Dodger Stadium on his 40th birthday and then delivered a game-winning ninth-inning single in his final regular-season at-bat at the historic ballpark.
Now Jones is looking forward to simply soaking in the experience that awaits him next week at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium -- the only current big league stadium in which he has not played.
"I'm looking forward to playing in a new ballpark, or at least taking batting practice in a new ballpark," Jones said with a smile.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.