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CHIPPER JONES WILL RETIRE AT THE END OF 2012 SEASON
Mon, 26 Mar 2012 12:22 PM EDT

Chipper Jones, 3rd baseman will retire at the end of the 2012 season, the Atlanta Braves asserted.

The third baseman that has spent his entire 18-year career with Atlanta has battled injuries the past several seasons and essentially made a decision to retire in 2010, only to change his thoughts.

This time, he means it.

The Braves announced the team and Jones, who will turn 40 year-old next month, have voiced interest in him remaining with the organization in a yet-to-be-determined capacity after he retires. Baseball scores.

During the early days of spring training, Jones marveled that he was still with the Braves with his milestone birthday coming up in April.

Jones, who was chosen No. 1 in general by the Braves in the 1990 newbie draft, has spent his complete pro career with the franchise. A 7-time All-Star, he has a .304 career average with 454 home runs, 526 doubles and 1,561 RBIs in 2,387 games.

A feared hitter when healthy, Jones has carved out a place in baseball history as one of the best to ever hit from either side of the plate.

His 454 home runs rank Jones 3rd best-ever among switch hitters, behind Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, who hit 536 homers, and Eddie Murray, who slugged 504. His career batting average ranks 2nd among all switch hitters, behind Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch (316).

He is the only switch hitter in big league history with over 300 home runs and a career batting average over .300.

Jones’ greatest season was 1999, when he won the MVP award with a .319 average, a career-leading forty five homers and 110 RBIs. 9 years on, at age 36, he won his 1st batting title with a career-high .364 average, which remains the last of his 10 seasons hitting above .300.

He hit .275 with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs in 126 games last season.

Jones was initially attached to join the Braves’ lineup 4 years on as a left fielder. But he suffered a season-ending knee injury in spring training, delaying his debut. Basketball scores.

What a debut it was.

Back at his natural infield place, Jones came 2nd in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting and helped the Braves to win their 1st World Series title in Atlanta.

That remains his only championship, even though the Braves kept right on winning the National League East thru 2005 in a unique streak of 14 straight division titles. Jones was on teams that lost to the N.Y Yankees in the 1996 and 1999 World Series.

After the team slumped for a couple of years, Jones was joined by a new generation of players who led the Braves back to the postseason in 2010 — the final year of Cox’s long reign as manager. Atlanta lost to the eventual champion SF Giants in a firmly fought division series that Jones missed, having gone down in August with the 2nd season-ending knee injury of his career.

In addition to 2 major knee operations, Jones has been forced to cope with nagging illnesses since 2004. This spring, he affirmed in top condition but faced leg issues, leading him to question whether he may even make it through the season.


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