Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves celebrates after hitting a two run home run against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Last weekend, Chipper Jones set a record. According to MLB.com. But like a lot of things, it sort of depends on how you look at things. Let's take a different look!
It was sort of a big deal, because before that two-run single, Chipper Jones had been precisely tied on the all-time RBI list with George Brett ... and both had been tied atop the all-time RBI list for "third basemen".*
* One of the neat little things about the history of the amateur draft is that the Royals grabbed George Brett with the 29th pick in 1971 ... and the Phillies took Mike Schmidt with the 30th pick. Some decades later, Brett retired with 1,596 runs batted in ... one more RBI than Schmidt.
But with that two-run single, Chipper took over No. 1 on the third-base list. And he's driven in three more runs since then, which pushed him past a big round number! Chipper's now got ...
1,601 Runs Batted In
That's a lot.
But here's where the "sorta" comes in. While Chipper Jones certainly qualifies as a third baseman, he's also been other things during his illustrious career. He's also been a Designed Hitter, on occasion, and, more notably, an outfielder. In 2002 and '3, he was almost exclusively an outfielder. So, because we love you, here are the all-time leaders in RBI by players who were actually, at that moment, playing third base:
1. Mike Schmidt - 1,474
2. Brooks Robinson - 1,350
3. Chipper Jones - 1,319
4. Ron Santo - 1,297
5. Eddie Mathews - 1,271
Meanwhile, Mr. Brett is well off the pace with only 1,005 RBI as an actual third baseman.
Next up for Chipper: Brooks Robinson for the No. 2 spot on the non-sorta list!
But if he sticks to his retirement plan -- which he probably should do, considering how many retirement gifts he's accepted this season -- Chipper's not going to catch Mike Schmidt, still the greatest third baseman in this and many other regards.