Pondering retirement in 2010, questions have shot up about the Hall of Fame credentials of Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. That is confusing to me, because it shouldn't be a question. Chipper Jones is a lock for the Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame looks at third basemen differently than any other position. But it's clear that Jones is amongst the third basemen elite. Look at his stats in comparison to the other third basemen in the Hall of Fame:
So if you were to compare Jones to the current Hall-of-Famers, he would be the highest slugging third baseman. He would have second highest on-base percentage, the fourth highest batting average, the third highest amount of home runs, the fourth (soon to be third) highest amount of RBI, and the fifth (soon to be fourth) highest amount of hits.
With his bat, Chipper Jones will be known as one of the greatest offensive third basemen of all-time.
Jones won the National League MVP in 1999 and finished in the top-ten in voting five other times. He is also a six-time All-Star and has two Silver Sluggers. Not to mention that he helped guide the Braves to a World Series championship in 1995 as a rookie.
Jones also could legitimately hit from either side of the plate, and has earned the right to be called one of the greatest switch-hitters of all-time. Jones also hasn't been connected to or mentioned in the same breath as steroids by any credible source.
The only knock on Chipper is his defense (.952 career fielding percentage). But the offense/defense paradigm doesn't just go one way. Some people get in solely based on their defense (i.e. Bill Mazeroski). Jones is an adequate defender and his offensive abilities should be looked at first and foremost.
It's asinine that it's even up for debate on whether or not Jones should be in the Hall of Fame. Jones is one the greatest at what he does of all-time.
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