No greater compliment
Here’s how the New York media reported the news of Chipper’s retirement:
They still remember 1999, which arguably stands as the greatest season by any Braves hitter — ever. It wasn’t so much his numbers, though they were scintillating — 45 homers, 41 doubles, .441 OBP, 25 steals. He carried that team on his shoulders after Andres Galarraga and Javy Lopez were sidelined for the year.
The Mets, who the Braves would defeat in the NLCS, might’ve won the division had it not been for Chipper, who had a 1.000 slugging percentage, 7 homers and 16 RBI in 12 games against them.
On Sept. 22, 1999, the Braves held a one-game lead as the Mets came to town feeling good about their chances.
The Mets entered town with the stronger lineup and deeper bullpen, ready to steal everything the Braves spent a decade building. But they could not stop Chipper Jones.
Jones, carrying more and more of the burden as more of his teammates have fallen off, continued his MVP-caliber season last night, burning the Mets for homers from both sides of the plate in a 2-1 win that knocked the Mets two games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.
The Mets learned their lesson in the NLCS, walking Chipper nine times in six games.
For his career, Shea’s dad batted .318 against the Muts with 48 homers and 154 RBI. Chipper’s numbers against the Phils, Atlanta’s other chief divisional nemesis during his career: .332-46-144.