Chipper Jones To Retire After 2012

After more than 17 years as a fixture in Atlanta Braves baseball, Chipper Jones has announced that he will retire as a player after the 2012 season. His $7 million club option for next year would have vested at $9 million with 123 games played this summer, but apparently enough is enough.

Jones, 40 next month, has been ravaged by (mostly) knee injuries that have limited him to fewer than 135 games in six of the last seven years. He hasn’t stopped hitting despite the physical problems though, producing a .345 wOBA and a 119 wRC+ in 512 plate appearances just last season. Chipper’s last otherworldly year was 2008, when he hit a monster .364/.470/.574 with 22 homers in 534 plate appearances, good enough for a .446 wOBA, a 175 wRC+, and 7.5 WAR. Somehow he only finished 12th in the MVP voting.

A career .304/.402/.533 hitter, Jones is almost certain to retire as just the seventh player in baseball history with a .300/.400/.500+ batting line (min. 10,000 PA). Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Frank Thomas, and Ted Williams are the others. He also figures to retire with more career walks (1,455) than strikeouts (1,358). Chipper went to seven All-Star Games, won one MVP (1999, but probably deserved another one or two somewhere along the line), and was an offensive force when the Braves won the 1995 World Series. He’s the only switch-hitter in baseball history with a .300 lifetime average and 300+ homers. With 87.5 career wins above replacement to his credit, he’s been the 35th most valuable position player in baseball history. He’s a slam dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famer. No doubt about it.

While Hank Aaron is clearly the best player in franchise history, Jones is the greatest player the team has had since moving from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. He’s second to Aaron in basically every significant offensive category in the team’s history, including SLG (.533), OPS (.935), hits (2,615), doubles (526), RBI (561), runs scored (1,561), and total bases (4,579). His 454 career homers are third most in team history behind Aaron and Eddie Mathews. The first overall pick in the 1990 amateur draft and four times a top-four player on Baseball America’s annual Top 100 Prospects List, Jones is also in the conversation for the best top pick in draft history (along with Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr.).

The writing has been on the wall for a while now, but Jones has finally decided to end his historically great career. He was able to do so on his own terms, which is not something many players get to do. Even great ones. He’ll also retire having never playing for a team other than the Braves, and it’s very rare to see great players stay with one team for their entire career during the age of free agency. The Braves are losing a great player and an icon, but the fans will be able to give Chipper a proper send-off later this season now that he’s has announced his decision.




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Mike writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues and baseball in general at CBS Sports.

82 Responses to “Chipper Jones To Retire After 2012”

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  1. dbake005 says:

    One of the best of all time, and one of the biggest folk-hero types in the south. Every kid in the south, at some point, probably wanted to be Chipper Jones. And when you think about it, who the hell can blame them?

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    • JimNYC says:

      It was only three or four years ago that I started hearing about him as a truly “great” player… yeah, he won an MVP for the Braves, but so did Terry Pendleton. I never thought of him as as big a part of those great Braves teams as David Justice, Fred McGriff, or Ryan Klesko.

      In retrospect, his career numbers are mighty impressive, but while he was playing, he was like a less-well-known version of Brian Giles — putting up outstanding numbers without anybody really noticing.

      It’ll be interesting to see whether his numbers can trump his anonymity when HOF ballot comes up.

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      • cream says:

        As the article says, he’s a slam-dunk 1st ballot guy. While he was never flashy or attracted attention like an A-rod, he’s not cloaked in anonymity.

        I’m not sure where you were, but Chipper’s always gotten his due in the Southeast.

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      • steven says:

        He no doubt deserves to be a first ballot hall of famer, but if he hadn’t won that MVP? I don’t know that he would be.

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      • TK says:

        “less-well-known version of Brian Giles”

        I’m not going to feed the troll.

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      • JimNYC says:

        TK: I’ll admit; I’ve seen Chipper Jones play a grand total of twice in my life (in the ’96 WS and again in the ’99 WS). I’m exclusively an American League fan, so the goings on over in the senior circuit tend to not get picked up by me, and my exposure to National League players tends to be entirely based on writings in the national media.

        Sosa and McGwire and Bonds got a lot of play in the national media. There was a time when there were two different “Brian Giles is underrated” stories every week. Everybody talked about Pujols. But I can’t remember a single story about Chipper Jones in the New York Times or ESPN.com until about five years ago. The guy was completely invisible.

        Again, this is coming from a guy who’s strictly an American League fan. I’ve watched or listened on the radio to at least 70% of the games played by the Yankees since the late ’80′s; I haven’t seen a single non-World Series National League game on television since 1988 (I was a huge Nolan Ryan fan and tried to catch his starts; after he moved to the Rangers I never saw another National League game again). So my perspective might be a little different from others.

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      • Dan says:

        I assume that “JimNYC” is a Yankees fan, because any Mets fan would have been extremely aware of Chipper for the past two decades. A “less well known version of Brian Giles”… laughably bad.

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      • argh says:

        Chipper was absolutely one of the most popular people in the league in the late 90′s and early 2000′s (and was a year in/year out allstar) until the roided up players starting taking over the league. His resurgence really started again after 2006. He was pretty invisible in the mid 2000′s before that.

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      • Steven says:

        Quick search of NYTimes archive. From 1990 to 2007, he appeared in 840. It looks like about 600 of those are in articles that aren’t just league roundup recap.

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      • bstar says:

        Wow, JimNYC, just wow. Do you really live in that much of a totally-enveloped Yankees bubble for everything that Chipper Jones has done to the Mets to somehow escape your vision? He named his son Shea due to his prowess at that particular ballpark, for God’s sake.

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      • John Thacker says:

        “But I can’t remember a single story about Chipper Jones in the New York Times or ESPN.com until about five years ago. The guy was completely invisible.”

        If this were true (and it’s not) then this would be the greatest case for NYT and ESPN having regional Northeastern bias, and bias against the South, in the context of sports.

        Saul Steinberg’s New Yorker cover come to life.

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  2. Gumby says:

    sad to see Chipper go but players get forgotten in Atlanta. Maybe the Braves can win one for the Chipper lol

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  3. Dekker says:

    Chipper actually had a higher OBP than Henry Aaron. That’s pretty impressive.

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  4. Josh says:

    I think you can make a pretty good argument that Chipper is the second-best third baseman of all time, behind Mike Schmidt. Schmidt’s the clear #1, but behind him are Eddie Mathews, George Brett, Wade Boggs, Brooks Robinson, and Chipper all bunched together.

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    • Nathan says:

      I’m inclined to think that Robinson belongs a tier down, and that Mathews is first among equals in the group of Mathews, Boggs, Chipper, and Brett.

      PS: lifetime Braves fan; huge Chipper fan.

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    • TX Ball Scout says:

      “Schmidt’s the clear #1″

      LOL! Clear?

      Not quite.

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      • Santos says:

        Good argument.

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      • LTG says:

        No other 3B combines great hitting and great fielding at the position. So, yes, clear, as in not even close or silly to raise the question because other possibilities are not live options. Of course, you shouldn’t take my word for it but rather look up the stats. Eddie Matthews might look like a live option at first but he benefited from a lower replacement level.

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      • JimNYC says:

        “No other 3B combines great hitting and great fielding at the position.”

        I’d like to introduce you to Harold Joseph Traynor, widely considered the best defensive 3Bman of all time before Brooks Robinson came along, and who was a career .320 hitter (albeit with no power whatsoever).

        If I’m ranking 3Bmen, I go ARod, Schmidt, Matthews, Baker, Boggs, Brett, Traynor (though I’m tempted to put Traynor higher; his contemporaries considered him to be easily Baker’s superior).

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      • TX Ball Scout says:

        All those guys are about equal. All top 50 players of all-time. Defensive values (where Schmidt’s push comes from) from pre-2000s will never be properly valued. No problem with someone saying Schmidt #1. But too close to see “easily”.

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      • LTG says:

        “who was a career .320 hitter (albeit with no power whatsoever).” Let’s add to this that Pie’s career OBP was .362 which is ~20 points less than Schmidt’s. Traynor was a good hitter but not a great one. Traynor might have been a great hitter pre-1918 (I’m not even sure about this) but he played in the roaring 20s and 30s.

        Most of A-Rod’s best hitting came as a SS, which is why I left him unconsidered (and, I imagine, why others do as well). A-Rod also is not a great fielder at 3B, although he probably would have been if he played there from the beginning. Moreover, Schmidt’s and A-Rod’s hitting numbers when compared to the MLB each played in are remarkably similar, A-Rod still being slightly better of course.

        So, we are still looking for the live option that is supposed to be competing with Schmidt for greatest 3B of all time. Without at least a live option, the claim that he is clearly #1 is justified.

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      • ECN says:

        Traynor was probably a great fielder — but he certainly wasn’t anything special with the bat. He had a 107 career OPS+, and even in his best season (1923), he posted a 125 OPS+. That’s compared to 147 and 199 for Schmidt, 143 and 171 for Mathews, 141 and 176 for Jones, 135 and 203 for Brett… the real elite third basemen were better hitters on average than Traynor was on his best day. Robinson (104/145) is a much better comparison for Traynor.

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      • bstar says:

        Righhhhht, Jim, Home Run Friggin’ Baker was better than Chipper Jones.

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      • Ben Hall says:

        Pie Traynor has no claim. No one thought he was easily the greatest third baseman when he was playing. This came about long after he retired. He was a good player, but not great by any means. He hit .320 with no power and did not walk.

        TX–To dismiss defense because the metrics we have aren’t very good is as short-sighted as giving them huge weight. Besides the metrics rating him as a great defensive third basemen, we have essentially unanimous reports that he was a great third basemen. Metrics sometimes show that players thought of as decent are actually not particularly good, or that great players are just good, but there were plenty of people pointing out that Derek Jeter was a bad defensive shortstop before every single metric said he was terrible.

        If you want to downgrade Schmidt’s defensive advantage from all-time great to good, that makes some sense. But that still puts him a leg up on all the others, none of whom were particularly good.

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    • Random says:

      Boggs’s sick peak puts him above Jones for sure.

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    • Dudermensch says:

      Ray Dandridge

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  5. philosofool says:

    Wow, as a hitter, he was nearly as good as Edgar Martinez.

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    • LTG says:

      This made me chuckle. I just hope the veteran’s committee makes up for what the baseball writers have done and are doing.

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    • buddy says:

      [Harold Baines].

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    • Dan says:

      But without the steroid suspicion…And 3-4 more years of PA after this year.

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    • Mike P says:

      You have no clue. In the same number of seasons Chipper has played more games with more AB’s, hits, doubles, dingers, walks, on teams that won way more than the Edgar era M’s. People call the Braves under achievers? The M’s had Griff, Johnson, A-Rod, Martinez, Buhner, etc and never even made it to the World Series let alone win one. Chipper had 6 top 10 MVP finishes to 2 for Martinez.

      He should feel honored to be mentioned in the same company as Chipper. Four Hall of Famers are listed in Chippers 10 most similar players and two to three more will probably get in. None of the 10 most similar to Martinez are in although a couple will be. Chipper is comparable to the historically great players of yesterday and today. Martinez was a good hitter but that’s about all.

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      • BlahBlahBlah says:

        Edgar
        .312/.418/.515 for a .405 wOBA and 148 wRC+

        compare to Chipper
        .304/.402/.533 for a .399 wOBA and 143 wRC+

        Of course your going to have more counting stats if you have more PA – that doesn’t mean you are better with the bat though; as Chipper clearly wasn’t.

        Then remember, Martinez played the last 6 years of his career in a rather big pitchers park, and spent his entire life touring the extreme ball graveyards in Oakland and Anaheim.

        Martinez always had bad knees, and was limited to DH with occasional DL-stints because of it. But he was a superior hitter and a true all-time great with 12 straight seasons of .370+ wOBA (as well as 370+ in 13 of 14 seasons over his age 27 to age 40 years. Chipper cant say that, with merely 8 straight and 11 of 12 during his age 24-36 peak)

        Martinez is one of the best, and most consistent, hitters we have seen play the game over our lifetimes. He is also probably the most underrated over the same period.

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      • Sam says:

        >This reply is mostly for “Blahblah”s post:

        Martinez’ 3/4/5 feat is impressive, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t know that he had those numbers. However, if you compare the two on a yearly basis statistically, Chipper clearly comes out on top. The following are numbers *per 162 games* so that the measuring stick is the same.
        (>>And FWIW, I think Martinez’ advantage for hitting in a pitcher’s park @ the end of his career is nullified by the fact that Chipper has had to play @ the hot corner daily, while Martinez has gotten to rest his legs thanks to the DH. Also, your argument about Martinez always having bad knees doesn’t differentiate him from Chipper, who first tore up his knee in ’94, @ the beginning of his career)

        WAR(offensive)
        >Jones: 84.9
        Mart: 67.2

        RBI:
        >Jones: 106
        Mart: 99

        Runs:
        >Jones: 106
        Mart: 96

        Hits:
        Jones: 177
        Mart: 177

        HR:
        >Jones: 31
        Mart: 24

        2B:
        Jones: 36
        >Mart: 41

        BB:
        Jones: 99
        >Mart: 101

        K’s
        >Jones: 92
        Mart: 95

        IMO, both should be in the HOF, however when you truly compare the numbers, I think Chipper comes out in front. Plus, Chipper’s got extras that the writers like, (winning WS & MVP)

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      • philosofool says:

        Per 162 games is not the proper rate stat to use, Per PA is. All you need is wRC+: it’s a park adjusted, linear-weighted measure of hitting verus league average. Edgar is ahead in that stat by 5, which is not a small amount.

        Edgar was a better hitter. Better player? That’s a different question. Edgar was the better bat.

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      • BlahBlahBlah says:

        @Sam,

        But again, you are using counting stats to compare two guys with a 1492 PA difference. Simple common sense tells you the guy with 1500 more PA is going to have higher counting stats without even having to look them up.

        However, look at the 162 average numbers:

        RBI – 99 Edgar, 106 Edgar
        Run – 96 Edgar, 106 Edgar
        (those two are team dependent stats though, so not sure how they are really that relevant in a comparison)

        PA – 684 Edgar, 690 Chipper
        AB – 569 Edgar, 583 Chipper
        Hits – 177 Edgar, 177 Chipper
        2B – 41 Edgar, 36 Chipper
        HR – 24 Edgar, 31 Chipper
        BB – 101 Edgar, 99 Chipper
        K – 95 Edgar, 92 Chipper

        So while your counting stats might look drastically different when you ignore an extreme PA difference, you can see they end up rather meaningless when you look at rates.

        Also, so you know, Edgar played 3B until he was 32; which is 2/3 of his time prior to moving to the pitchers park and overall he was a 3B a majority of the time in half of his seasons. Between his poor knees and the M’s having Mike Blowers though, its no surprise he was moved full-time DH.

        Lastly, for fun lets look at the top 10 wOBA seasons the two compiled
        .468 ~ 1995 Edgar
        .453 ~ 1999 Chipper
        .449 ~ 1996 Edgar
        .446 ~ 2008 Chipper (128G short season)
        .434 ~ 1997 Edgar
        .434 ~ 1999 Edgar
        .434 ~ 2007 Chipper (134G short season)
        .426 ~ 1998 Edgar
        .425 ~ 2000 Edgar
        .424 ~ 1992 Edgar (135G short season)

        You may notice how Edgar has 7 of the 10 there. Oh, and how 2/3 for Chipper are within the last 5 years when he spent time on the DL?

        Now this isn’t to say that Chipper wasn’t unbelievably awesome and all; he is a true star and amazing guy and sure HOF and one of the best ever at the position. So is Edgar though; and that’s the point.

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      • BlahBlahBlah says:

        oops, see now that you used the per162 yourself – which surprises me that you would stick to your argument when the two are nearly identical despite Chipper having an AB differential there even; but oh well…

        None the less, Edgar will always be hurt in the more counting departments since he wasnt a full-time player until he was 27 and had 3 big injury seasons which moved him to DH. The fact he still managed close to 9K PA and the 300/400/500 slashes with a big pile of some extremely impressive hitting seasons is a true testament to just how good this sadly nearly forgotten player was.

        Being an A’s fan at the time, I despised him (in that utmost respect way) like no other hitter in the game because of that unbelievable talent (much like the Mets and Philly fans hatred for Chipper) and ironically feel a bit bad he doesn’t have the recognition now that he definitely deserves.

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      • Johnnynewguy says:

        Blahblahblah, You forget that Chipper has been playing in a pitcher’s park since 1997. Ted Turner designed Turner Field for Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz. That argument that Martinez played in a pitchers park is null and void.

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      • BlahBlahBlah says:

        Blahblahblah, You forget that Chipper has been playing in a pitcher’s park since 1997. Ted Turner designed Turner Field for Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz. That argument that Martinez played in a pitchers park is null and void.

        Actually, Turner Field is neutral.

        But we already know that, just look at the wOBA and wRC+ numbers ~ they adjust for park factor and show the advantage for Martinez. Which, again, are:

        Edgar
        .312/.418/.515 for a .405 wOBA and 148 wRC+
        Chipper
        .304/.402/.533 for a .399 wOBA and 143 wRC+

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    • Anon21 says:

      And Edgar Martinez as a fielder was nearly as good as Bud Selig.

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      • BlahBlahBlah says:

        Thats just wrong. He was an average to better fielder when at least relatively healthy, and overall ends up with a +17 TZ over his time at 3rd.

        Its not like he was a Thome-like fielder seeing a mercy move to 1B/DH. It was pure health and origination depth in Edgars case.

        In fact, one could argue that Edgar was a drastically better fielder at 3B then Chipper if one wanted. Chipper has a pitiful, near Thome-like, -17 TZ and never had a fielding season anywhere close to the 143 Games Edgar played there in 1990 where he managed a +13 Fielding Runs

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      • Sam says:

        @BlahBlah,

        I guess my last pitch argument would go back to the oWAR. I know that such sabermetric #’s are unknown and considered almost suspicious when used at times, but the wide difference between the two seems to be more than what you’d expect, even if you cut the gap in half to account for the PA discrepancy, Chipper still seems to have a greater overall effect @ the plate, especially when you consider that he switch-hit, and his awards don’t hurt either for comparison’s sake.

        Ultimately, though, we’re splitting hairs here, as it’s clear that both should be in Cooperstown, and it’s not even close IMO…they both make some of the recently-admitted guys look like little leaguers, and I hope Martinez gets his due. Thank you for your argument, as I had seriously overlooked the guy until now.

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      • Anon21 says:

        He was an average to better fielder when he fielded. Which was less than 30% of his career. By contrast, Chipper played the field his entire career, because he didn’t play in the Old Timers’ League.

        That’s the sole point I’m making here: come into a thread like this with a statement like philosofool’s, expect someone to point out that there is a big f’ing elephant in the room reason why Chipper is more worthy of induction, even though Martinez is also worthy of induction.

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      • BlahBlahBlah says:

        If Chipper was a better fielder, maybe I would understand the point better. As is, poor fielding 3B or a DH is working towards being a toss up.

        ..which, realistically, that’s probably why there is merely a 17 WAR difference between them despite nearly 3 seasons worth of PA differential. That’s an average of about 5.7 WAR per Missed-Season for Edgar; a guy who posted between 6 & 7.5 for his peak years

        Had Edgar been up to play his full age 24-26 seasons, replacing the current 0.3′s with the normal 6-7.5 he posted starting at age 27, then the two would likely have both extremely similar career PA totals and overall WAR tallies despite Chipper playing 3rd 80% of his career verses Martinez at a fielding position only about 1/3 of the time.

        As I said before, the M’s keeping him in the minors till such a late date hurts his career lines a ton. He was every bit as awesome as Chipper though, and had he not had those 3 early short seasons, his WAR would almost certainly show just that.

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      • BlahBlahBlah says:

        @Sam,

        Yeah, dont sleep on (the real) Papi!

        ~ Twice lead the AL in BA – .343 in 92 and .356 in 95
        ~ Three time leader in OBP – .479 (95), .429 (98) and .447 (99) while landing at 22nd highest for his Career
        ~ 66th career SLG and 34th overall in OPS (with a 1.107)

        And all of that despite not really starting his career till he was 27, and playing most of his games in the pitcher-heaven, AL-West with a pair of the worst knees you will ever find in the game.

        Or just think of it this way; the B-R 147 OPS+ ties him with McCovey, Schmidt, Stargell and Thome for 40th all-time, while the Fangraph wOBA of .405 ties him with Hank Aaron and Duke Snider.

        Just an unbelievable bat that oddly so many have overlooked.

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      • TK says:

        The Blah philosophy: statistics when they help my argument, “one could argue” when they don’t. Comparing Edgar’s defensive contributions to Chipper is asinine. And Chipper was an average 3b at best during his prime. Read a book.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Do dudes get extra credit for the time they spent out of the game? I thought longevity was part of greatness.

        And no, there’s no point in comparing a DH with any fielder short of Adam Dunn. Martinez rightly starts in the hole because he couldn’t play the field, and Chipper rightly is credited with a higher replacement level because he was an okay third baseman.

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      • BlahBlahBlah says:

        @TZ,

        Chipper was (-)29 TZ at 3rd “over his prime”, so maybe its you who needs to “read a book”.

        @Anon,

        The missing years are at the beginning, not the end, of his career. Edgar played till 41, which is a year older then Chipper will retire at. Some would call that the “longevity” you imply is absent. The missing years in Edgar’s career are his age 24-26 seasons ~ years he did play, they were just mostly in the minors (with some fill-in and riding the pine at the ML level…)

        Also, there is comparing a DH to a 3B when the DH is just as, to even more valuable, despite not playing the field. David Ortiz is more valuable then Chone Figgins, is he not?

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      • TK says:

        Well, I think that qualifies as “average at best,” so yes it is you that needs to read a book.

        Seriously, while there offensive hitting numbers are similar, Chipper played longer, played defense adequately, played very well in the playoffs, and ran better.

        You seem to put a whole lot of stock in what Edgar Martinez could have done, according to you.

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  6. NY Mets Fan says:

    YESSSSSS

    Seriously though, I will be sad to see him leave. Always hated Chip, but only for the way he shredded the Mets year after year. Nothing but respect for the guy. Citi Field will give him his proper standing ovation before his last game, then properly boo him mercilessly throughout the game.

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  7. Richie says:

    What % of players who retire ‘early’ (clearly still starter-quality) actually stick to their retirements? I’m guessing well south of 50%. If Chipper has another good year, I’d cheerfully wager it won’t be his last.

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    • Drew says:

      I think it might be a small sample size as most players probably aren’t starter quality at the time they retire if you’re using a 2ish WAR baseline for starter quality. That being said, I’d be surprised to see Chipper back. 2013 would be his age 41 season which isn’t exactly Julio Franco territory but it isn’t all that young either. Add in the injuries he’s dealt with through his career and I think we’re seeing him for the last time this season. Hopefully every opposing ballpark will give him the proper send off that he’s earned over the past 17 years.

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    • Sam says:

      However, most players who retire early do so b/c they can’t play @ a high enough level anymore. Chipper is retiring primarily b/c his body is falling apart..granted he’s in his 40′s, but this is a guy who just hit .270/.340/.470 @ age 39…those numbers are still in the top portion of 3B’s in the league

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    • bstar says:

      Richie, you’re saying over half the players who retire with something left in the tank attempt a comeback? What league are you watching?

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  8. The Ted, Section 437 says:

    And with this, my childhood officially ends.

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    • Sam says:

      Wow! I couldn’t have put it better myself. I grew up cheering the Braves (yet idolizing Chipper specifically) on TBS Superstation, and so many of us (presumably yourself included) owe that mid-late ’90′s team for their initial education/introduction to the game. Chipper is the last remaining figure from those teams, so it really is bittersweet.

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  9. caseyB says:

    As a Mets fan, I have nothing but respect for Chipper. Have always liked him. Classy player and competitor. I hope the Braves have a lousy year but Chipper does well!

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    • BlahBlahBlah says:

      naming his son Shea is one of the funniest things I have seen a guy do. Such an awesome move…

      If I were a Mets fan though, it might have sent me over the edge.

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      • caseyB says:

        Nah, it was a compliment actually. I’m sure he did it as much for his fondness of the stadium and the city itself as for the success he had there.

        After all, naming his kid Veterans, Coors, Citizens, or Olympic would have been weird, don’t you think? He has a higher career OPS at those stadiums than he does at Shea (over 200 PAs).

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      • caseyB says:

        By the way, you know who also named their kid specifically after Shea Stadium? Barry Larkin. And he never had particularly good numbers there. It was just a great place to play baseball. The crowds and the buzz. As a fan, I miss that. I miss the whole ambiance of Shea. Citi can’t compare (though it has much much better food).

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  10. The 10,000 plate appearance limit is a pretty high bar — only 78 players have done that. There are another 10 or so guys who have .300/.400/.500 lines over their careers that don’t have that many PAs (Greenberg, Hornsby, Joe Jackson, Edgar Martinez, among others)

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    • moose says:

      yes which is why its insane to think that he kept that up over 10k plate appearances!

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      • Dan says:

        Exactly–you have to have a huge peak to maintain 300/400/500 through the decline phase.

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      • Sam says:

        Unfortunately, he might lose the 3/4/5 this year as his OBP is going to end up right around the magic line…I hope that he can keep it above…needs to keep drawing BB’s like he’s done well his entire career, yet he for some reason stopped doing as much last year

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TK says:

        Yes, I did a quick calculation, and he would need an OBP of at least .360 in 500 PAs to stay above .400 in OBP (that is, actually above .400, not rounded to .400). Obviously, that OBP would go up and down depending on him having more or fewer PAs, respectively.

        Looking at the projections, this seems like a 50/50 shot.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • philosofool says:

        Remember that seasons are longer now than they were for Hornsby, Greenberg, Jackson, and there were fewer financial incentives to keep playing during the decline years.

        WIlliams and Greenberg also missed four years fighting Hitler. I know, I just brought up Hitler to win an argument on the internet, so I lose. But you can’t ignore the fact that Hitler was really evil.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Dave S says:

    I’m a Philadelphia fan.

    I hate him.

    There can be no greater compliment.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave S says:

      OK… I guess being a first ballot HOFer is greater.

      And “hate” is an ugly word.

      I really did used to dislike him (in a Philly way)!

      But he made me change my mind. I don’t remember what season it was, but I had some random Brave on my fantasy team and I got Braves games on cable. So I watched them a lot, and it was the Chipper show every night. I could not believe how fantastic he was…. night after night after night.

      He just oozed danger every time he stepped up to the plate.

      Smart player. Tough player. Great player.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Clayton H says:

    One of my favorite players of all-time. For most (sensible) Braves fans, the heart and soul of the team for more than a decade. An incredible hitter and someone who will will be synonymous with Atlanta for a long time. Thanks Chipper.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Sam says:

    Chipper is the one player that I grew up idolizing. It was ironic, and fitting, because my dad grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle, who’s stats (and injury prone-ness) were more similar to Chipper than most would think. Later in his life, Pops followed George Brett, who’s stats are a near mirror-image of Chipper’s, not to mention that both occupied the hot corner and stayed with one franchise throughout. When a player’s stats mirror, or even if they approach names like Mantle and Brett, you know you’ve got something special.

    Sometime in the last few years, when it became apparent that he was locked into Cooperstown, I made myself a promise that I’d be there when he gets enshrined, come hell or high water! I think it would be great if Jeter were elected into the same HOF class as Chip. Both represent the same “lost values” of the game and are the faces of the great Braves/Yankees rivalry in the mid-late ’90′s.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bstar says:

      You probably know this, Sam, but the reason Chipper became a switch-hitter(he started at age 7) was because his dad was such a Mantle fan.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. BDF says:

    One of my favorite parts of the Chipper Jones (one of my all-time most hated players) story is how he came to be drafted #1 in 1990. Todd Van Poppel was the consensus best high-school player in the country but everyone thought he was going to college. The Braves reluctantly drafted Jones and then Oakland took a flier on Van Poppel at like #14 in the first round. Oakland of course was neck-deep in their great run at the time, and when they convinced him to sign everyone took it as a sign of the apocalypse, the rich get richer, etc. etc. Things took a slightly different turn in the ’90s. And that’s why I love baseball.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Nats Fan says:

    Chipper has been great! Here’s to hoping it takes a few years for the Braves to replace him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. adohaj says:

    so what position will the braves hire him for? Hitting Coach? Consultant? I hope its TV announcer

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dan Greer says:

      I am hoping beyond hope that they fire Fredi Gonzalez and make Chipper a player-manager for at least part of this season. It won’t happen, but hey.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. sox2727 says:

    i remember being able to watch every braves game on tbs when i was kid. and i always loved watching chipper hit. he is still my favorite non-White Sox position player to this day

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. ChipperHOFER!!! says:

    My rankings of third basemen:

    1-Mike Schimdt
    2-Eddie Mathews
    3-George Brett
    4-Chipper Jones
    5-Wade Boggs

    After those five nobody comes close to approaching that tier; they are all so close.

    The Braves should have 6 HOFers from their great run:
    Bobby Cox
    Greg Maddux
    Chipper Jones
    Tom Glavine
    John Smoltz
    Andruw Jones

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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