Chipper Jones and the Hall of Fame

One of the greatest switch-hitters of all-time, Chipper Jones was the Mickey Mantle of his era: power from both sides of the plate and a winning personality that attracted fans, young and old alike.  During a game with the Astros yesterday, Jones tore his ACL making a brilliant Brooks Robinson-esque play to nail Hunter Pence at first base.  The injury will require season-ending surgery and given Chipper’s advanced age and his hints toward retirement earlier in the season, could Taps be playing for Mr. Jones’ career? 

If his career is indeed over, Chipper has left behind a legacy in the Braves system only outdone by Hank Aaron.  He has reached 436 homeruns and has scored just over 1,500 runs while coming close to that total in RBI as well.  He won a batting title in 2008 and was named the National League’s MVP in 1999.  A member of some strong Braves teams, Chipper won a World Series in 1995 and played in 92 career postseason games.  His resume is that of legends, but the opposition will claim that Chipper only led the league in a major offensive category twice: in 2008 when he won the batting title and the on-base percentage crown.  Be that as it may, Chipper is on the short list of players to have posted eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons.

Jones also stacks up well when looking at career lists.  His career on-base percentage of .405 rests 46th all-time, ahead of such Hall of Fame notables as Rickey Henderson, Joe DiMaggio and Rod Carew.  No slouch in the slugging department either, Chipper rests 41st all-time in that category which places him 30th all-time in career on-base plus slugging–ahead of legends like Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson and Duke Snider.  Chipper also makes the Top 25 in career walks while missing out on the Top 100 in career strikeouts.  So, when glancing at his career, you see a player who may not have led the league often, but he was always amongst the leaders which enabled him to post some rather impressive career numbers.

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