The Greatest Accomplishments of Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer Chipper Jones: Part 2
Following Friday's induction of former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones into the team's Hall of Fame along with the retirement of his No. 10 jersey later that day, I listed five of the legendary player's greatest accomplishments in part one of a three-part series on Monday.
In that article, I discussed his part in Atlanta's only World Series championship in 1995, his National League MVP season in 1999, the fact that he walked more than he struck out over his 19-year career, his move from third base to left field and back, and the batting title that he won at the age of 36 in 2008.
"The reason I want to take some time away from baseball is that I want to rekindle that flame," Jones told the Associated Press on Friday. "At the end of last year, I was done. I wanted to play opening day this year. That's the only day that I've missed it. I woke up the next morning and was thrilled that I didn't have to go to the ballpark."
Many of us have missed seeing the future MLB Hall of Famer around, though, which is I why I chose to put together this look at some of his best achievements. It hasn't been an easy task, but it has been a fun one, given that it has afforded me the opportunity to reflect on one of the most spectacular careers of the modern era.
Here is part two of the greatest accomplishments of Braves Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, with part three coming on Monday.
Hit Over .300 from Both Sides of the Plate
A .303 career batting average is great no matter how you slice it, but when you're able to finish with a .300-plus mark from both sides of the plate despite playing for nearly two decades, it's really saying something. It just goes to show how consistent Jones, who grew up idolizing the likes of Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray, was over an extended period of time.
Although he likely could've reached the 3,000-hit plateau had he spent a few more seasons in the big leagues, the fact that Jones was able to surpass 2,500 hits and continue tacking on base knock after base knock, even at an advanced age, is amazing. Add in the fact that he dealt with lingering injury problems during the latter portion of his career and it makes his over 2,700 hits even more impressive.
Two Comebacks from ACL Tears in Left Knee
Speaking of injuries, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Jones came back from not one, but two ACL tears in his left knee. After his first season in the majors ended prematurely in 1993, he was able to return with a vengeance in 1995. The same thing happened 17 years later, but the then 38-year-old was able to make it back for the 2011 season.
468 Home Runs
Jones wasn't known as a power hitter, which is pretty darn surprising for a guy who went deep almost 500 times in his career. He filled the no. 3 spot in the Braves' batting order the majority of the time and was always a headache for opposing pitchers, practically daring them to challenge him with a fastball.
Some guys are lucky to appear in one All-Star Game, but Jones made it to eight Midsummer Classics, including five times from 1996-2001. What's really amazing is the fact that he didn't make the All-Star team in 1999 despite winning the NL MVP Award.
Still to Come ...
On Monday, we'll complete our look at Jones' greatest accomplishments when we discuss five more of his most impressive feats.