Chipper Jones: A Tribute to One of the All-Time Greatest Atlanta Braves

Vinny HardyCorrespondent IOctober 10, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 05:  Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves tips his helmet to the crowd before his final at bat before the Braves lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 during the National League Wild Card playoff game at Turner Field on October 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Chipper Jones, the face of the Atlanta Braves for almost two decades, has just put the finishing touches on his brilliant career. It didn't end the way he or the Braves would have liked. The game against St. Louis was a game where a lot could go wrong and a lot did go wrong.

The controversial infield fly rule episode was just the bad icing on the bad cake. However, none of this will tarnish Chipper's body of work in the least.

He can now take his rightful place next to fellow legendary generational Braves Hank Aaron and Dale Murphy. Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman, and Jason Heyward will now be charged with the undertaking of carrying the torch and becoming the next iconic members of the Atlanta Braves.

Chipper finishes as one of the greatest switch-hitters ever with a career .303 average, 468 home runs, 1,623 RBI, eight All Star game appearances, and one MVP. He's a virtual lock for Cooperstown.

Jones is a generational player because of his longevity and consistently good play over the duration of his career.  Everyone always wanted to see his at-bats. He was the man. He made you stop what you were doing to see what he was going to do.

Mets fans still talk about, and curse him out for the way he feasted on their pitching throughout his career.He showed them the depth of his gratitude when he named his youngest son Shea, after the old Shea Stadium.

To all the youngsters coming up from 1995-2012, he was larger than life, the same way Dale Murphy was for me. In my seven-year-old eyes  Murph went yard every time he stepped to the plate. It seemed like he did anyway.

It was like clockwork, the Braves were going to be on TBS every afternoon or evening when I got home from school, and Dale Murphy was going to hit a home run. My father (a lifelong Mets fan) and grandfather took me to my first Braves game—my first ever pro sporting event for that matter—at Fulton County Stadium on August 21, 1985.

Dale Murphy didn't hit a home run that night and the Braves lost to the Chicago Cubs 9-5. I couldn't have cared less because I was there live. Murphy could have gone 0-for-5 and struck out in each at-bat and it still wouldn't have mattered. 

Chipper Jones had the same effect on this generation. He was the fan favorite, the face of the team, the face of the city and the last holdover from the 1995 World Series champion roster.

Although Jones has chosen to call it a career, he still had something left in the tank as his numbers this season indicated. He got a hit in his final All-Star and playoff at-bats; they were dribblers but they counted just the same. More importantly, he was able to go out on his own terms.

At 40, he's an old dog by baseball standards, but he showed he was up for learning a new trick when he made his first foray into "twitta," as he likes to call it, this past summer. 

Hello all! Yes, the ol man finally got the twitta! Shame on the posers. Thx to all the followers already. No fans like braves fans!                                                                        — Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) July 24, 2012

Once he got the hang of it, he started dropping knowledge. Two days (and three tweets) later he was dispensing baseball lingo to everyone out there in Braves Country.

yicketty means homer! mammo means big bomb. roadrunner is francisco. any other questions?                                                                                                                          — Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) July 26, 2012

Yicketty and mammo were soon household hash-tagged phrases that would be seen on the tweets of many Braves fans for the remainder of the season.

Just another way in which he endeared himself to the fans. Chipper Jones is a good dude, a good dude who loved the game, loves his kids and loves his deer hunting. Now he'll be able to spend more time on those last two.

It's been quite a ride for the man from DeLand, Florida. Thankfully every bit of it happened in Atlanta.


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