2012 Chipper’s Last Season

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

Color Codes 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
Brooks Robinson .267 2896 2848 482 68 268 1357 .322 .401 .723 41.8
Mike Schmidt .267 2404 2234 408 59 548 1595 .380 .527 .908 94.4
Wade Boggs .328 2440 3010 578 61 118 1014 .415 .443 .858 78.9
George Brett .305 2707 3154 665 137 317 1595 .369 .487 .857 79.5
Eddie Mathews .271 2391 2315 354 72 512 1453 .376 .509 .885 95.4
George Kell .306 1795 2054 385 50 78 870 .367 .414 .781 32.3
Chipper Jones .304 2387 2615 526 38 454 1561 .402 .522 .935 84.9

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.

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Tags: Brooks Robinson Chipper Jones Eddie Mathews Eddie Murray Favorite George Brett Mickey Mantle Mike Schmidt

  • http://www.sabbump.org/ clearwall

    Sad day, but you knew it was coming soon. He’s extremely too fragile to continue to be a major leaguer. Hopefully he can catch on as a Mgr or consultant somewhere

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ CarlosCollazo

    As a 17 year old I couldn’t enjoy Chipper as much as most people but I am not ignorant enough to not realize just how great he is. He will definitely be missed and hopefully sometime he will come back and teach all the kids how to hit. 

  • http://www.sabbump.org/ clearwall

     @CarlosCollazo I was 13 when he broke into the league so he wasn’t my first experience with a great Brave player, but he’s certainly cemented his place in my mind. I remember when I first saw him and thinking about how strange his name was. Today, that name is synonymous with the Atlanta Braves in every way. The team will absolutely never be the same and that’s because you can never replace a talent or a man like Chipper. He will absolutely be missed and I am sad to see him go

  • Big Bad Bob

     @CarlosCollazo As an old man who remembers Mantle, Mays and Kaline, I always have had a fondness for the home run hitter.
    Chipper never had the power of Mantle, nor the grace of Mays, but he was endowed with the likeability (is that a word?) of Kaline. Couple that with an uncanny ability to hit the ball consistently with power and you have a great player.
    Chipper was never my favorite player (Mantle left no room for another), but I recognize true greatness when I see it. Even though he was never as slick as Brooks Robinson, I doubt even Brooks could make that bare handed throw better. Chipper really has no need to do anything more than he has to be great.
    You see, even an old man knows how to appreciate people for who they are… and Chipper is one of the best.

  • http://www.sabbump.org/ clearwall

     @Big Bad Bob  @CarlosCollazo Dont mention Chipper making that barehanded play well. I got in trouble a while back for using the justification that he was a great defensive player.

  • Big Bad Bob

     @clearwall I am not trying to justify his defense. He, clearly, isn’t the greatest defensive third baseman I have seen. All I said was that I do not remember Brooks Robinson making that play appear as easy as Chipper does.