Six Pack of Pop: Chipper Jones

first_imgThe former Atlanta Braves great and future Hall of Fame third baseman was on hand at Talladega Superspeedway Chipper Jones retired after last season as one of the greatest players ever for the Atlanta Braves, and a likely future first-ballot selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The former third baseman and eight-time all-star has followed NASCAR since his days growing up in Pierson, Fla., not far from Daytona Beach. He gave the command to start engines as grand marshal for the recent Sprint Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway.How did you become such a big NASCAR fan?I grew up about 20 miles inland from Daytona Beach, Fla., and I think when they revved the engines up, you could hear them in my backyard, to be honest with you. It was always a fun time to go over to Daytona twice a year. Back then it was the Firecracker 400 in the summer, and obviously the big Daytona race every February. We always had a blast. That’s where my love of NASCAR started.Who are your favorite drivers?I was in the house for Richard Petty’s 200th win. Ronald Reagan flew in on Air Force One. Richard wasn’t my favorite, though. I was a Cale Yarborough fan. I loved Cale’s grit and determination. He’d fight you in a heartbeat on the backstretch if somebody wrecked him. That was always something that I liked. But I always thought he had one of the prettiest cars, to be honest with you. That Hardee’s 28 and Valvoline 27 were some good-looking cars. Now, I’ve gotten to know so many of the racers over the years going to driver’s meetings and going to Daytona so many times walking up pit road, it’s hard to put a finger on a favorite. I guess if you held a gun to my head, I’d probably say Jeff Gordon and I go back a long way. We’ve had some of the same representation, and he’s gotten me tickets in years past. So I’d probably have to say Jeff is my guy. How has life been post-baseball?I’m knocking off bucket-list items left and right right now. I’ve been to Augusta (for The Masters), which I’ve never been able to do. Been able to go turkey hunting for the first time in my life — on purpose, anyway. I’ve always said, my love for NASCAR has never faded. I’ve wanted to hop in a bus or hop in a camper and do the tour. I’ve always wanted to go up to Bristol. I’m a big either short-track guy, or super speedway guy. I’m not big on the mile-and-a-halves, but I’d like to go to some and continue to make the circuit as much as I can.What about jumping in a race car?I’ve done it in Las Vegas, actually. Did it a couple of years ago. I have a couple of outdoors shows on the Sportsman Channel, one on the Outdoors Channel. So the big Shot Show for the outdoor industry was in Las Vegas, and we jumped in a car out there. I think I got the most careful driver of the bunch. I probably went the slowest out of everybody. But I’d love to do it again. It’s something that if I wasn’t a baseball player, I’d have wanted to be a race car driver or a country singer or something like that. Not that I can sing. But I can dang sure drive. I like to go fast.Where’s your favorite place to watch a race?I used to watch from the stands as a kid at Daytona, and I thought that was great. But getting down on those pit boxes –I’ve stood on Richard Childress’ tower with him at Daytona, and being able to see those cars go all the way around … that’s a  thrill for me. I like to be down here in the midst of it.Are you surprised your adjustment to retirement has been so smooth?For the last 23 years I’ve been living out of a suitcase, playing the game of baseball. I’ve loved every minute of it. But I think now, just being able to set up some roots, being able to see my kids whenever I want to — I’ve got four boys, ages 15, 12, 8 and 7. Being able to go to games on Saturdays. Being able to actually sit down and watch a race on the weekend from the drop of the green flag to the drop of the checkered flag. Most of the time Sunday afternoons, I’m having to catch the last 50 laps on the radio driving home from the ballpark. There are a lot of cool things that I want to do. People are so surprised that I haven’t had more trouble adjusting to life after baseball. I wasn’t just a baseball player. I have a lot of other interests in life, whether it’s NASCAR, whether it’s deer hunting, whether it’s coaching my kids’ baseball team, or whatever. So I’m going to be just fine, and I’m having a blast thus far.center_img FULL SERIES COVERAGE• View all articles • View all videos • View all photoslast_img read more

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How credit unions can help millennial parents save for college

first_imgAccording to CollegeData, the average cost of an in-state public university for the 2014-2015 school year was $23,410. For a private school, the cost goes up to $46,272. The Institute for College Access & Success reported an average student loan debt of $28,400 for students in the class of 2013.Struggling with student loan debt and figuring out a way to pay for an education has sparked a new way parents think about their children’s future, according to a study by Fidelity Investments. In 2007, 58 percent of parents between ages 30 and 34 had started to save for their children’s education. Only 16 percent planned on paying for all of their children’s college payments.Saving for collegeIn 2015, 74 percent of parents in the same age range have started to save and nearly half plan to pay for all college costs. continue reading » 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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More Memories

first_imgThe other day my wife found a picture of the 1982 Conference and County track championship team picture in our basement. It brought back a lot of memories. This boys team followed a 1981 group that might have been one of the top squads I ever coached at BHS. I was very surprised when they followed with another championship. It wasn’t until 2012 that a Batesville team would win the conference again. The 1982 team was led by Brian Siefert and Jeff Edwards who both went on to star in college. I wonder how many such pictures and trophies are hidden away in some coaches’ basement. Most schools that have any kind of continued success do not have the available space to display all of these trophies. I know that many trophies and pictures have bitten the dust and were tossed for lack of something to do with them. I have taken some of the trophies that were going to be “retired” home with me, and then taken the inscriptions off and donated the trophy to some worthy causes for further use. I, of course, kept the inscriptions. I wish I knew the answer to this problem, because no matter when the trophy was won, it meant a lot to the people who are on it. Schools cannot afford to add rooms on simply to display them since the money must come from the taxpayers. BHS has done a great job finding room to display as many of them as possible. If you have an idea on how to keep these trophies alive and on display, pass it on to the athletic director at your school. Like I said earlier, everyone of them is important to the people in them no matter how old they get.last_img read more

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