Atlanta Braves: 10 Things We'd Love to See Chipper Jones Do Before He Retires
It's obvious that Chipper Jones is nearing the end of a long and great career.
The face of the Atlanta Braves will be turning 40 in late April this year. However, just because he's near the end does not mean that Chipper is finished, as he just made the All-Star team last season.
Chipper has accomplished a long list of things during his career, from a batting title, to an MVP to a World Series ring.
This article takes a look at the top 10 things we would like to see Chipper accomplish before he finally decides to hang it up.
Win Another World Series
As many times as the Braves made it to the playoffs during his career, he only played on one team that won the World Series.
All of that heartache of being a favorite to win it all but coming up short can certainly wear on a team and its fans.
Winning a second World Series title would make fans remember Chipper as a winner. They would also remember that not only did he manage to win a title with the stacked teams of the 1990's, but he would also be known for winning a title without Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Bobby Cox.
That would be remembered for a very long time.
Reach 3,000 Hits
Obviously, 3,000 hits is a magic number.
Not only is it a historic mark that few have ever reached, but it's a mark that will pretty much guarantee a player a spot in Cooperstown assuming there are no performance-enhancing drug questions surrounding him.
If Jones can get to that magic number, he would join only 28 other players in the history of the game. He would join company that includes Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Honus Wagner. It's such a rare feat that not even Ted Williams has 3,000 hits.
Also, Chipper Jones is likely already headed to the Hall of Fame, but he isn't a lock or a first-ballot candidate.
Collecting a total of 385 more hits would pretty much answer any questions there are surrounding his candidacy.
Hit 500 Home Runs
Similar to the 3,000-hit mark, the 500-home run mark is a magic number.
It not only helps to guarantee a non-PED user a spot in the Hall of Fame, but it's very rare. Only 25 players have hit 500 homers, less players than have reached the 3,000-hit mark.
Not only would hitting the 500-homer mark be special for those reasons, but Chipper Jones would become only the third switch-hitter to reach that total, joining Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray.
Hitting 46 more homers could be enough to have him considered the best switch-hitter in the history of the game.
Win One Final Division Title
After winning a record 14-consecutive division championships, the Braves have not won the division again.
Since winning the last division crown in 2005, the Braves have only made one postseason, in 2010 as a wild card.
Chipper would get a chance to win another NL East title without the help of former manager Bobby Cox and the ace pitchers who played a large role in the Braves' past success.
This may not seem like a big mark, but the Braves all-time leader in doubles is Hank Aaron with 600.
Chipper Jones currently ranks second with his 526.
Picking up 75 more doubles over the remainder of his career would push him past the greatest player to ever put on that Braves' uniform.
65 More Singles
Chipper Jones currently ranks third all time in franchise history with 1,597 singles.
He's 64 singles away from tying Fred Tenney for second all time and 65 away from having second place all to himself just behind Hank Aaron.
Jones is arguably the second-best hitter in the history of the franchise, so moving up to second on the all-time franchise leader board in an offensive category would be nice to see him accomplish.
Retire a Brave
Ever since being the first overall selection in the 1990 MLB draft, Chipper Jones has been with the Braves organization.
All of his accomplishments have some with the team. In an era where almost no one plays their entire career with the team that signed them as an amateur, this is a major feat.
Sure Greg Maddux and John Smoltz signed elsewhere, but they weren't homegrown Braves.
Tom Glavine signing with the then-rival New York Mets really hurt Braves fans. Even though Glavine came back to finish his career in Atlanta, that fact will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Chipper Jones signing with another team or being traded by Frank Wren to another team would do even more damage than Glavine leaving.
Glavine was a great pitcher, but he was overshadowed by Maddux and Smoltz, while Chipper has been the face of the franchise for the last 10-15 years.
Not Become the Franchise's All-Time Leader in Strikeouts
Right now, Chipper Jones finds himself in fourth place on the all-time franchise leader board for most strikeouts with 1,358.
While that sounds like it's a fairly safe bet that he won't become the franchise's all-time strikeout leader, that's far from the case.
Jones only trails leader Dale Murphy by 223 strikeouts and is only 36 more from second place.
While becoming the team's all-time leader in strikeouts isn't awful, it's not something that fans would like to see from one of the team's all-time greats.
Play a Full Season
Due to his age increasing and Chipper still going all out all the time, he gets injured pretty frequently.
He hasn't played more than 150 games in a season since 2003 and only played in as many as 140 one time since then.
When Chipper managed 600 plate appearances in 2008, he was able to win the National League batting title.
All Braves fans would love to see Chipper play a full season as it not only helps the team win, but could lead to him putting up some good numbers as well.
Win a World Series MVP
This goes with my first slide in winning a second World Series ring, however, this would top that.
What better way for Chipper to go out than to lead his team to a title by having a huge World Series and then retiring after?
Athletes always dream of going out on top, and this would allow Chipper to go out at the ultimate high.
Fans would also remember Chipper playing a huge part in the title, further cementing his legacy well into the future.