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Chipper To Retire At The End Of The Season


R.C. Collins
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Chipper will retire at end of season

10:03 am March 22, 2012, by Chris Vivlamore

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — This will be it for Chipper Jones.

The Braves’ future Hall of Fame third baseball announced today that the 2012 season will be his last. The Jones played all 18 years with the Braves, who made him the No. 1 pick of the 1990 draft, where he won a World Series and a National League MVP award.

Jones, 40, ranks as the Atlanta Braves franchise leader in nearly every offensive category with a .304 career batting average, 454 home runs, 526 doubles and 1,561 RBIs in 2,387 games. His home-run total ranks 33rd in major league history.

Jones’ 18 years of service with the same team leads all active major league players, bettering Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera (17 years with the Yankees).

The Braves and Jones, a seven-time All-Start, are discussing a yet-to-be-determined role with team following the season.

Jones finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1995, the season the Braves won the World Series. He was the league’s Most Valuable Player Award in 1999 when he hit .319 with a career-best 45 home runs and 110 RBIs.

He won his first career batting title in 2008 with a .364 average (league-best .470 on-base percentage). It marked the second-highest single-season average ever for a switch hitter. Mickey Mantle hit .365 for the Yankees in 1957.

Jones is the only switch hitter in Major League history to post a .300 career average with more than 300 homers, and his career batting average ranks second all-time among switch hitters. He also ranks third behind Mantle’s 536 and Eddie Murray’s 504 career home runs by a switch-hitter.

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.303/.403/.507, 19 HR, 29 doubles, 73 RBI, 77 BB, 70 Ks.

That's what an average Chipper Jones season has been since hitting age 35. Injuries have taken their toll on him staying in the line-up, but the man can still hit today, and probably will be able to until the day he dies. He's a Top 5 Brave of all-time, and a first ballot HoFer.

He gets a lot of crap about his contract, but he's been worth his $13 million/year, even with the injuries. The Braves will be hard-pressed to replace his production next season.

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.303/.403/.507, 19 HR, 29 doubles, 73 RBI, 77 BB, 70 Ks.

That's what an average Chipper Jones season has been since hitting age 35. Injuries have taken their toll on him staying in the line-up, but the man can still hit today, and probably will be able to until the day he dies. He's a Top 5 Brave of all-time, and a first ballot HoFer.

He gets a lot of crap about his contract, but he's been worth his $13 million/year, even with the injuries. The Braves will be hard-pressed to replace his production next season.

But not just that. How much money has Chipper given away over his career to stay with the Braves and to allow the Braves to stay competitive? He's the best Atlanta Brave ever.

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But not just that. How much money has Chipper given away over his career to stay with the Braves and to allow the Braves to stay competitive? He's the best Atlanta Brave ever.

That's a really good question. Chipper has never filed for free agency, always extending with the Braves before it gets to that point. Just looking at similar hitters as Chipper that became free agents agents when Chipper would have first been eligible (@2001), I see Scott Rolen and Vladamir Guerrero; both changed teams to get big pay-days and made several million more than Chipper made over the same time. Chipper didn't want for anything I'm sure, but he certainly would have made more had he tested free agency and signed with the Yankees, Mets, or other higher market team.

And agreed, he's been the best Atlanta Brave player to date.

Just out of curiosity, I ran fWAR values for all Braves since 1966 (first year in Atlanta). I think it produces a reasonable list of the Top 10 Atlanta Braves.

1. Chipper Jones 87.5

2. John Smoltz 80.9

3. Greg Maddux 74.4

4. Andruw Jones 69.0

5. Hank Aaron 58.4

6. Tom Glavine 56.9

7. Dale Murphy 47.1

8. Phil Niekro 46.1

9. Javy Lopez 28.2

10. Brian McCann 26.8

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That's a really good question. Chipper has never filed for free agency, always extending with the Braves before it gets to that point. Just looking at similar hitters as Chipper that became free agents agents when Chipper would have first been eligible (@2001), I see Scott Rolen and Vladamir Guerrero; both changed teams to get big pay-days and made several million more than Chipper made over the same time. Chipper didn't want for anything I'm sure, but he certainly would have made more had he tested free agency and signed with the Yankees, Mets, or other higher market team.

And agreed, he's been the best Atlanta Brave player to date.

Just out of curiosity, I ran fWAR values for all Braves since 1966 (first year in Atlanta). I think it produces a reasonable list of the Top 10 Atlanta Braves.

1. Chipper Jones 87.5

2. John Smoltz 80.9

3. Greg Maddux 74.4

4. Andruw Jones 69.0

5. Hank Aaron 58.4

6. Tom Glavine 56.9

7. Dale Murphy 47.1

8. Phil Niekro 46.1

9. Javy Lopez 28.2

10. Brian McCann 26.8

I would say that list is pretty dead on. I think people seem to forget how valuable Javy Lopez was to the Braves in the 90s and into the 2000s. But that being said I was kinda surprised to see him ahead of David Justice. I guess Justice's time with the Braves just didn't last long enough before he was traded to the Indians.

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