March 9, 2012; Lake Buena Vista FL, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (10) stitches before the game against the New York Mets at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Some Thoughts on Chipper Jones

As you all probably know by now, Chipper Jones is retiring. The face of the franchise for almost 2 decades now, is about to experience his final season. Most of you have probably had a long happy journey with Chipper, but not me.

If you don’t know I am 17 years old. I was too young to remember when Chipper started playing with the Braves (as well as the most dominant rotation in the history of baseball) and so when I first started getting interested in the Braves I didn’t think Chipper was as good as everyone said he was. Before I had fallen in love with the team I even disliked Chipper because of his constant injuries, and the fact that all the people who followed baseball in North Carolina were Chipper fans and all the kids in little league fought over number 10.

I started following the team around 2004 or 2005, I’m not sure exactly when. I do know that I grew up watching the team just as the division streak wore off and when Chipper started to get injured all the time.

Back then I can remember writing my first post on Chipper Jones on some lonely MLBlog site. I was trying to convince Braves nation that it would be a good idea to trade Chipper Jones, so we could get something out of him while he was still ‘decent’. Looking back, it was probably a good thing that no one read that blog. I obviously had no clue what was going on.

Now however, I have gotten a bit smarter (I hope) and I realize how great a player Chipper Jones is and has been throughout his career. Growing up in an era where players constantly go to the team who offers the biggest check, I have great respect for Chipper. One of the best switch hitters of all time, the best plate discipline and eye in the game, and arguably the best Brave of all time.

I am not saying he definitely is. There are plenty of great Braves. Hank Aaron, Dale Murphey, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Steve Avery, and a ton more. But there is definitely a case for Chipper Jones to be dubbed the best Brave.

So here is to hoping Chipper can end his Hall of Fame career with a second ring. A ring he has been chasing for his entire career after getting a taste his rookie season, when he helped lead the team to a World Series. As my uncle would say, Here’s to Larry Wayne Jones.

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  • FredOwens

    Best is a very subjective term. The game changes so much that comparing even Chipper with Eddie Mathews isn’t easily done. Consider that:
    There’s a case for Warren Spahn (HoF) pitched 20 years for the Braves – lost 3 years to military Service in WWII – and threw 5046 innings. A little quick math tells you that an average of 252 1/3 innings a year. He won 356 games and even had 29 saves. Most people who remember him also think of Johnny Sain as his partner in the rotation – Spahn and Sain and a day of rain.  Sain was only a Brave for 7 years winning 103 games saved 11 and averaged 234 2/3 innings each year while Lew Burdette was Spahn’s # 2 longer – 13 years – won more games -179 – and averaged 239.8 innings a year. Maybe it’s because nothing rhymes with Burdette.
    Before Mike Schmidt arrived the definition of a slugging third baseman was Eddie Mathews. he played 15 years and hit 493 of his 512 homers and 2202 of his 2315 hits for them. He had the good fortune and misfortune to play with Henry Aaron. Good because they complimented each other and were friends but misfortune because Hank took Ruth’s record. He was the first media proclaimed face of the franchise in my lifetime and Braves fans love Hank yet the team traded him away.
    If you asked about the Best Brave Chipper would probably say it’s Hank. If you ask Hank, it may be Matthews or Spahn or Chipper. The Best Brave depends on who’s in your heart. I have room for a few.

  • CarlosCollazo

     @FredOwens Definitely not saying he is, but saying to a lot of people.

  • CarlosCollazo

     @FredOwens I thought about it a lot before publishing but decided to go with it since I put ‘there is definitely a case’ instead of just stating that he is.

  • clearwall

    I would say that the reason you didn’t have the appreciation for chipper was because, even before the years you watched him, he wasn’t the flashy superstar. That was never his personality and probably allowed people to overlook him. But the numbers don’t lie and they prove that he was the most consistent and effective Braves ever. He quietly did everything right, did it well, and left a legacy that will allow the franchise to continue doing things the right way as he did.
    Im kind of similar to you. Chipper was never really my favorite player on the team. When I first started watching the team, it was David Justice, followed by A Jones followed by Smoltz.