I’ve been a Braves fan for a long time – back before they were any good. Dale Murphy was my favorite Brave in childhood, but the position player who is probably the greatest Atlanta Brave this side of Hank Aaron (again, we’re not talking pitchers) is Chipper Jones.
So it’s unfortunate to see Chipper go down with a torn ACL to end his season. The Braves are enjoying a remarkable ride in Bobby Cox’s last year, and Chipper had just started heating up over the last month or two. Now I had been inclined to think that he should hang ’em up after this season and ride off into the sunset with the only manager he’s ever known in MLB. He’s 38, after all, and his performance had been on the slide the last two seasons. I didn’t want to linger too long.
So with this injury, we may have seen the last of him. It’s interesting that he hurt himself on a remarkable play. He’s going to try to come back, but like I said, he’s 38, so we’ll see if he can.
If not, I hope he becomes the Braves hitting coach at some point in the near future. Heck, he unofficially serves in that capacity to some extent already.
He’s the only switch-hitter in history to have more than 300 home runs (he’s well over 400, trailing only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray among switch-hitters in MLB history) and a batting average over .300. Next stop: Cooperstown.