Clearwater, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The longtime Braves third baseman says he'll hang up his spikes after this year.
This news isn't unexpected, just the timing: Chipper Jones announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
Jones will be 40 in April and has been battling various injuries for the last couple of seasons. Even at that, he was a productive player in 2011, hitting .275/.344/.470 with 18 HR and 70 RBI in 126 games, and being named an All-Star for the sixth time in his career.
Jones has won one MVP award in his career (in 1999) and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting five other times. He's played the bulk of his career at third base, although he moved to the outfield for a couple of years in the early 2000s. He enters 2012 with 454 career home runs and 2615 career hits and a lifetime triple-slash of .304/.402/.533. The only players in major league history with as many or more plate appearances as Chipper who also have a lifetime BA over .300, OBP over .400 and SLG over .500 are Tris Speaker, Babe Ruth, Mel Ott, Stan Musial and Ty Cobb, all Hall of Famers.
Chipper's likely to join them in Cooperstown, six years from now.