Chipper Jones is one of the best pure hitters that the game of baseball has ever seen. He hit 468 home runs, drove in 1623 runs, scored 1619 runs, and collected 2726 hits in his Major League Baseball career. It’s very likely that if injuries hadn’t ravaged a few years of his career that he would’ve easily hit the 500 home run and 3000 hit milestones.
Of course, counting stats are nice, but overall production is much more important. He had 1512 walks, which helped him compile a .401 on-base percentage (OBP), on top of his career .303 batting average and .529 slugging percentage. These gave him a career OPS – on-base percentage plus slugging percentage – of .930 and wRC+ of 141, meaning he was 41% better at creating runs for his team than league average for the duration of his career. With all this production, it’s no surprise that Chipper was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 2018.
As someone who watched him play a lot on television in my youth, I can say Chipper is probably the best hitter I’ve ever seen. He worked the pitch count better than anyone else I ever saw. He wasn’t the greatest defensive third baseman ever, but he was more than adequate (career -5 Defensive Runs Saved per Fielding Bible.) When he played some left field later in his career, he did more than fine (2 Defensive Runs Saved). He was consistently a 5-6 win (Wins Above Replacement) player, making him a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame before his career was even three-quarters of the way over. He was a Atlanta Brave for life, one of very few players in recent memory to remain with a single team in his entire Major League baseball career.
Thanks for the memories, Chipper!