If Cooperstown is meant to be a place for players that demonstrate a certain standard and integrity, and in doing so serve as role models to others, Chipper Jones has my vote.

There has been some discussion about whether Chipper is Hall of Fame material or not, in light of the recent injury to his ACL and the potentially career-ending surgery that will be required. Among third basemen, he’s the all-time leader in slugging percentage and OPS and is third in home runs.

His stats among switch hitters boost his status even more—third all time in home runs and RBI with a nearly identical batting average against rightys and lefties. 

But is this reason enough? Should hitters be measured relative to all other hitters rather than a particular subset? While Chipper has consistently produced impressive stats at the plate throughout his career, he is rarely a league leader or even among the top 10 percent in significant batting categories.

Still, there is value in his contributions as a switch hitter—to be able to produce consistently from both sides of the plate is a pretty commendable feat in and of itself, not to mention the fact that it forces opposing teams to rethink their strategies when bringing in rightys versus lefties from the bullpen.

And, given his permanence with the Braves organization throughout his entire 15 year career, he has played an important leadership role, acting as the face of the franchise and a pillar of consistency through the team’s identity changes over the years. 

Not to mention the fact that on numerous occasions, Chipper agreed to smaller contracts with the Braves when he had more lucrative opportunities.  as a free agent so that he could stay with the team, and resources could be used to build it up with other prospects. 

A player’s value stretches beyond the output produced in measurable stats; there is a reason we hold Ken Griffey, Jr., Derek Jeter, and Chipper Jones to a certain esteem as compared to other players with similar or better stats.


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