With Chipper Jones announcing his retirement on Thursday, baseball writers from across the country have chimed in with their thoughts on the career and legacy of the long-time Atlanta Brave.
At Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer strongly endorses Jones as a lock for the Hall of Fame:
That's Chipper Jones. He's got the quantity, and he's got the quality. He's not one of the two or three best third basemen ever because he was not, it should be said, much of a fielder. But he's certainly among the 10 best third basemen ever. Comfortably.
Of course, there can't be a Hall of Fame discussion anymore without bringing up performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball Nation editor Grant Brisbee looks at why Jeff Bagwell and Jones are viewed so differently despite the remarkable amount of similarities between the two players:
There we go. Chipper the teenager on the left. Chipper the filled-out veteran on the right. That's the key term: "filled-out." Baseball players who played and starred in the '90s were allowed to fill out. They were not allowed to get muscular. Retroactively, of course. At the time, baseball players who got muscular were something of a new fad, but they were accepted and the norm at one point. They were like Nehru jackets: accepted while the fad was going on, clearly strange in retrospect.
At ESPN.com, David Schoenfield looks at how Jones' career with the Braves compares with other No. 1 overall picks over the last generation:
Among No. 1 overall picks, only Alex Rodriguez has compiled more career Wins Above Replacement, but no player has accumulated more value with his original team than Chipper:
Chipper Jones, Braves, 1990: 82.7
Ken Griffey Jr.. Mariners, 1989: 67.6
Joe Mauer, Twins, 2001: 40.3
Darryl Strawberry, Mets, 1980: 37.7
Alex Rodriguez, Mariners, 1993: 37.1
Jeff Schultz at the Atlanta Journal Constitution gets some nice quotes from Hank Aaron about Jones' tenure with the franchise:
"I think many great players in Chipper's era are under-appreciated, and the reason for that is the way the system is," Aaron said. "Baseball is a lot different than it was 10, 15 years ago. People look at players, I guess, by the money they make. Chipper falls into that category of players who have not only meant a lot to the Braves but to the city. When you see a ballplayer like this come along and you watch him for 19 or 20 years, sometimes you don't fully appreciate him until after he's gone."