It’s almost something you never see
anymore in modern day baseball. A player who has been with one team for
his entire career and for that career to be more than ten years long.
However, that is definitely the case with the man named Chipper Jones
and his time with the Atlanta Braves. Jones has been putting on the
Braves uniform for rapid Atlanta fans since 1993, and in that time he
has done his best to live up to his name and has steadily chipped away
at the elusive 500 home run mark. Now, with over 400 of them under his
belt, it looks like it will be a foregone conclusion that Jones will
join that exclusive club.
Jones started his major league baseball career on September 11, 1993 and at the time he was the youngest player in the majors. It was then thought that he would have to compete for a slot on the team before the 1994 season, but an off-season injury while riding a dirt bike caused him to miss the entire season. In short, there was not much in those first two years that seemed to indicate the potential greatness that lay within the infielder.
His MVP season came in 1999. That year he was the first player to hit over .400. He also knocked 45 runs out of the park that season. At the same time he also managed to have over 40 doubles. As if those numbers weren’t enough, he also drew over 100 walks. He also went into triple digits when it came to RBIs and runs scored. And when he was on the base, pitchers still had to worry about him because he was a stealing threat and managed to snatch 25 bases. It was little surprise that the National League awarded him their MVP award that season. He even helped lead the Braves into the World Series, but there they ran into the wall that was the New York Yankees that year and they were swept.
From that point forward he has only gone onward and upward. He even played in the World Baseball Classic in its inaugural year in 2006. He hit a home run in his very first at bat during that series. He ended the tournament having gone 6-17 with a double and two home runs.
Of course, he has continued to amass impressive stats and with the 2012 season looming, he could cross into that 500 region. As it stands now he has 455 home runs. He has an overall batting average of .304. He also has 1,561 RBIs and 2,615 hits. He has an impressive 526 doubles. He has also been The Sporting News Rookie of the Year and a World Series Champion in 1995. He is also a seven-times All Star player and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. In 2008 he was the National League’s batting champion. One of his most impressive stats was also earned that year when he garnered the highest on-base percentage ever with .470. What’s more, he has done all of this while playing for the Braves, playing his entire career with one team which is exceedingly rare in the modern world of professional baseball.