As a way to get people excited for the 2011 season, the Atlanta Braves announced the return of Bobblehead Nights. There were three slated for the year — one for young gun Jason Heyward; one for newly acquired, yet-to-play Dan Uggla; and one for Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones Jr. For the last fellow, it was one of the many ways to honor and celebrate the longtime Brave, whose storied career seemed increasingly close to its end.
Unfortunately for the 38,000-plus that showed up to Turner Field for Chipper Jones Bobblehead Night on July 28, their man wasn't even in the starting lineup. There are many awkward things in sports fandom, but a stadium full of people shaking a wobbly doll while the headsake is sitting in the dugout has got to be up there. The seventh inning began like the others — with no Chipper — but with one out and a man on first, a pinch hitter approached home plate to replace relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro.
It was Chipper Jones. Chip was about to take part in a baseball game on Chipper Jones Bobblehead Night. This was amazing.