Chipper Jones Retirement: Ranking 8 Greatest Moments of His Braves Career

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIMarch 22, 2012

Chipper Jones Retirement: Ranking 8 Greatest Moments of His Braves Career

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    Chipper Jones is retiring and Atlanta is losing one of its biggest icons—not only in baseball, but in Atlanta sports history.

    Throughout his career, Chipper had many great moments in a Braves uniform.

    Some of those moments will go down as all-time memories in the minds of many Atlanta fans.

    To some, Chipper Jones is the Atlanta Braves in the same way that Derek Jeter is the New York Yankees.

    Here's a look at the top eight moments of Jones' career with the Atlanta Braves.

8. Getting Drafted No. 1 in 1990

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    Being drafted No. 1 overall is something that happens to very few people, obviously.

    With baseball prospects being so hit-and-miss, the fact that the Braves hit a home run with this one speaks volumes of their scouting department to actually get it right.

    Being selected at the top grouped Chipper with the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., B.J. Surhoff and Darryl Strawberry.

    Even if he wasn't the top pick, just getting drafted is the dream for any player.

7. Chipper Makes Big-League Debut

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    Chipper made his debut on Sept. 11, 1993, going 2-for-3 with a double in four plate appearances that year.

    Although his playing time was brief that year, Braves brass knew he would be competing for a starting spot the next year.

    Unfortunately, he was injured in spring training in 1994, and had to wait until 1995 to make his full-season debut with the Braves.

6. Playing for Team USA

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    I remember interviewing Chipper a few years back as I was doing a July 4 story on what it meant to him to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on two different occasions.

    While I don't remember the exacts of his quote, I remember him saying that it was an honor to represent his country and to represent the men and women in our Armed Forces.

    He told me it was a very humbling experience and something he'll remember for the rest of his life.

5. Passing a Legend: Part I

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    On June 10, 2006, Chipper passed Braves legend Dale Murphy for first on Atlanta's all-time RBI list with his 1,144th RBI. Keep in mind the record is only for Atlanta and Hank Aaron still holds the franchise's all-time record.

    Jones passed Eddie Matthews for second on the all-time franchise list two years later.

    At the end of last season, Jones stood at 1,561 RBI, which is good enough for 40th on the all-time list. Should Jones have a decent year this season, he can move into the top 30 on that list. All it will take is 67 RBI, which he's done in every season, except one.

4. Passing a Legend: Part II

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    Not but a month later, Jones passed Hank Aaron for the most hits all-time in Atlanta, surpassing the legend with his 1,902nd hit.

    Currently, Jones stands at 2,615 hits, good enough for 75th all-time. With a great season of 160-plus hits, he'll move into the top 50. Not saying it will happen, but it definitely could with it being his last year.

3. 1999 N.L. MVP

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    For any player to be named the National League MVP, it's something special.

    When Jones did it in 1999, he hit .319 with 45 home runs and 110 RBI. If that's not enough for you, he also had 181 hits and stole 25 bases.

    Yes, Chipper had wheels back then.

    That year, the Braves went 103-59 and made it to the World Series where they were swept by the Yankees.

2. Helping the Braves Win 11-Straight Division Titles

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    Any player who is lucky enough to play in the playoffs for 11 straight years would consider themselves lucky.

    Chipper was a team leader for much of his career, and was the glue that held the Baby Braves together in their final run in 2005 when the likes of Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann, among others, made their debuts.

1. Winning the 1995 World Series

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    Winning the World Series is the goal for any player.

    Luckily for Jones, the Braves did it in his first full season in 1995.

    At the plate, Jones went 6-for-21 with three doubles and three runs scored.

    Sadly, the Braves got in the playoffs 10 straight years after that and were unable to win a world title, with their last trip to the October Classic being in 1999.

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