HOUSTON -- Astros icon Craig Biggio presented retiring Braves third baseman Chipper Jones with a cowboy hat as a retirement gift on behalf of the Astros before Monday's game. Jones is making his final trip to Houston this week.
"As a player, the home fans love you, but there's a lot of fans that respect you in other ballparks," said Biggio, who retired after the 2007 season. "They might not like you because of what you've done to them on the baseball field, but they respect you the way you play. To be able to let them say thank you in return is a classy move. It's a good thing. He'll be sad once that last day gets here, but he should enjoy it because he's meant a lot to the game."
Jones, who is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday to face the Astros, is a career .319 hitter with 19 homers and 77 RBIs in 124 regular-season games against Houston. His three-run homer off Billy Wagner to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 2001 National League Division Series is a bitter memory for Astros fans.
Still, Jones got a nice round of applause.
"It's a nice gesture and it's much appreciated," he said. "Houston has always been special to me because it's the one place my parents get to come and there are a ton of Braves fans here. There have been a ton of great games against Houston during my tenure here. So it's awfully nice of them to do that."
Biggio, who will be up for National Baseball Hall of Fame induction for the first time next year, believes Jones should find his way to Cooperstown eventually.
"I've really never looked at his numbers or this and that, but whenever people mention his name they say Hall of Fame, so obviously his numbers are there," he said. "You cross your fingers when your five years are up and hopefully you can get it."