Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones may be out for the season after suffering a “badly stretched anterior cruciate ligament.” In other words, he messed his knee up real bad. The 38-year-old longtime face of the franchise had flirted with the idea of retirement following this season, which means if he is out for the year, Chipper may have played his last inning.
While Jones is under contract through 2012, the former MVP and batting champion is only batting .265/.381/.426 this year with a career low10 homers in 95 games. His poor performance paired with long-time manager Bobby Cox planning to retire at the end of this season had led to massive speculation that 2010 would mark the end of the “Old Guard” in the N.L. East. This injury may have sealed the deal.
Personally all of my memories of Chipper have been negative. When I was a kid in spring training he refused to sign an autograph for me, despite having the time. And as a baseball fan growing up rooting for teams in the NL East, it long became a passion of mine to treat the Braves as the Yankees of the National League, and Chipper Jones was the ring-leader for them. I always made sure whenever I saw him play to jeer his real first name at him, Larry.
However despite my personal feelings towards him, one cant deny the great career Chipper has had. If he retires it will leave a huge hole in not only the Braves infield but all of baseball.
Here’s a quick look at his accomplishments:
.306/.405/.536 Career line with 436 Home runs and 2490 Hits
1999 NL MVP
6 time All Star
2 time Silver Slugger
Batted over .320 5 times
OBP over .400 10 times
30 or more homers 6 times
Career WAR of 80.0
So regardless of your personal allegiances, send a tip-of-the-cap to Chipper Jones to what has been a great career.