If you are previously familiar with the Clown Show then you are aware of Jason Michael Jordan Kipnis.

The Cleveland Indians’ keystone since 2012, JMJK has inspired posts such as “This is me power ranking the things Jason Kipnis does,” “Jason Kipnis reclaimed the title of Greatest Baseball Player Ever last night,”  and “Here are 11 haikus about Jason Kipnis for no reason in particular.” 

Suffice to say we’ve covered the bases with the two-time All-Star.

But on Saturday, June 16, something extraordinary happened. The author of this post, having cyber-stalked Kip for so long, was finally able to stalk him in person as well. After interviewing pitching coach Carl Willis – who happens to hail from a small town in Caswell County, NC, where the company I work for owns a weekly newspaper – I noticed Kip headed toward the dugout after another spectacular round of batting practice during which he hit at least one ball into the right field stands. Mostly it was line drives the other way, because this is JMJK, after all.

I timed it perfectly, managing to walk down the dugout steps into the tunnel right in front of our Lord and Savior, JMJK.

I asked for a picture. He obliged.

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JMJK meets Ricky Automatic, forever changing history.

Now folks, I don’t want to brag, but facts are facts. Here are JMJK’s dismal numbers from the first 10 weeks of the season, through June 15, 2018:

49-249, 4 HR, 25 RBI, with a brutal slash of .197/.274/.301, good for an unemployable .576 OPS. I’ll admit, this year has been tough on me and Jason. I’ve been looking at the other Indians with thirsty eyes. How could I not? Jose, Frankie, Klubes… so many quality players. But there is only one player I have two bobbleheads of. Only one player’s jersey I refuse to wash though, or because, it is covered in ketchup and mustard from the 2016 World Series.

In the tunnel after taking the photograph, I asked Kip a small favor. “Just three home runs today, okay, Kip?” He laughed (we’re best friends now). “That might bring me over .200!” he said.

Well folks, he didn’t hit the three home runs that day. But as a meme on a teenager’s Instagram account might say, if you shoot for the stars and miss, you might just hit two bombs over the next few days. Here is Kip’s stat line since meeting Ricky Automatic:

6-16, 2 HR, 5 RBI, with a slash of .375/.412/.750, good enough for a 1.162 OPS.

I’m not trying to brag, and you can make your own judgements.

But when JMJK is getting his plaque made in Cooperstown, I fully expect him to be wearing a Ricky Automatic hat in the picture.