Number 10

Jayson Stark summarizes Chipper’s greatest numerical feats:

Chipper’s likeness, as plowed by a Loganville couple

  • Jones hitting left-handed: .304/.405/.542. Hitting right-handed: .305/.391/.499. What it means: There have been 106 switch-hitters in history who came to the plate at least 5,000 times. Only two of them hit .300 or better from both sides. One was Frankie Frisch, whose career ended 75 years ago. The other: Chipper Jones.
  • Jones’ career on-base percentage: .401. His career slugging percentage: .530. His career homers: 468. All as a switch-hitter, of course. What it means: The list of greatest switch-hitters in history obviously includes men like Frisch, Pete Rose, Eddie Murray and even Lance Berkman. But only two switch-hitters are in that .400-.500-400 Club. One is Mickey Mantle. The other: Chipper Jones.
  • 1,622 RBIs for Chipper — and still counting. What it means: In the history of baseball, only three players ever drove in more than 1,500 runs while spending most of their careers playing third base. Two were George Brett (1,596) and Mike Schmidt (1,595). You can learn all about them in Cooperstown, N.Y. But who’s the all-time leader in RBIs by a guy who mostly played third base? Chipper Jones. That’s who.
  • Here Jones is, after more than 10,000 trips to the plate, still able to say he has piled up more career walks (1,505) than strikeouts (1,409). Hard to do. What it means: More than 130 active players have hit at least 100 homers in their careers — but only three of them have walked more than they’ve punched out. Albert Pujols and Todd Helton are two of them. The other: Chipper Jones.
  • In the final season of his career, at age 40, here’s the stat line of the great Chipper Jones: 106 games, 427 plate appearances, .295/.382/.470. Oh, and there’s also this: He leads his team — a team headed for the postseason, by the way — in OPS (.852). Amazing. What it means: There have been many, many great players who played into their late 30s and early 40s. Pretty much none of them had a final season to rival this one. With the help of the Elias Sports Bureau, we looked at all Hall of Fame position players since 1900 who finished their careers at age 37 or older. Exactly one of them had a say-goodnight season that resembled Chipper’s grand finale. That would be a fellow named Ted Williams, who hit .316/.451/.645 in 1960, at age 41 — but in only 390 plate appearances. So it’s Ted … and Chipper. Two guys who didn’t just know when to turn out the lights. They also knew how. Did they ever.
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1 Comment on Number 10

  1. I did some research earlier this season and found out the company Chip is keeping. Read on:

    Chipper is in his 19th full season and he’s currently hitting nearly .300 playing regularly. I decided to check back on Hall of Famers and other greats and see who had better years at the plate during or after their 19th season while playing in at least 100 games. This is good stuff and places him in elite company.

    Ty Cobb hit .340 in his 19th season (and .378 in his 21st season!)
    Tris Speaker hit .389 in his 19th season
    Ted Williams hit .316
    Babe Ruth hit .341
    Tony Gwynn hit .323
    Stan Musial had a poor 19th season but bounced back in his 21st to hit .330
    Paul Molitor hit .341 in his 19th season
    Pete Rose hit .325 then fell off dramatically after that

    Nobody else was really all that close. HOF, here he comes.

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