Chipper call’s it a day… well after the World Series anyway
As I was about to get some work done around here, word that Chipper Jones will retire at the end of the 2012 season is flying around the Braves universe. Chipper is a unique player in today’s game, a quiet superstar yet down to earth in his approach to everyone.
I know some who expect ball players to be as pure as the driven snow will find a reason to say unkind things. I’ve already read a few and trust me the folks writing them were not great thinkers. Don’t react or get into an argument with them, those folks are too narrow minded and holier than thou to pay attention to anything you might say. Real fans know that – barring a bevy of idiocy amongst the Baseball Writers Association come 2018 – we’ll be in Cooperstown to see him inducted to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. His numbers speak for themselves.
Entering this season he has 454 home runs, 1561 RBI, and a slash of .304/.402/.533/ .935. He’s third on the all time list in home runs by a switch hitter behind Mickey Mantle (536) and Eddie Murray (504) and second in RWAR (82.9) to Mantle (122.1) and for the FWAR fans out there he’s third with (87.5) behind Mantle (123.1) and Pete Rose 91.4. He’s done all that while walking 1455 times and striking out only 1358.
Chipper’s right at home among current Hall of Fame third basemen as well
By the end of this year he will move into third for games played, will the RBI lead away from George Brett and with a good power year sneak, up on Mike Schmidt in slugging. Sneaking up on Mike Schmidt is not usually recommended but, in this case I don’t think he’ll mind.
As the last member of the 1995 World Series team his departure changes the face of the franchise. Whether it becomes Brian McCann’s team, Jason Heyward’s team or Freddie Freeman’s team is yet to be decided. What is absolutely certain is that since 1995 this has been Chipper’s team.
Whatever happens this season the Braves and their fans owe him a send off worthy of his place in franchise and baseball history. You’ll be able to tell your kids you watched one of the best of all time play the game. I hope fans turn out a HUGE numbers to thank him.