“I’m seeing the ball well, and when I get a pitch to hit, I’m not missing it.”
Larry “Chipper” Jones was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Chipper Jones was taken by the Atlanta Braves with the first overall pick in Baseball’s 1990 Amateur Draft.Jones spent his entire 19 year Major League career with the Braves. Jones won the National League batting title by hitting .364 in 2008. Chipper Jones was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1999. Jones was an eight-time All-Star. His lifetime batting average was .303, and he belted 468 home runs.
Chipper Jones should be remembered as one of the best third baseman of all-time and one of the best switch hitters of all-time. His 1,623 RBI is the most ever for a third baseman. His 468 homers ranked third for switch hitters behind only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray. Jones is the only switch hitter whose lifetime batting average is over .300 with more than 400 home runs.
We all are after consistency. As William Shakespeare said, “Consistency, thou art a jewel.”
Chipper Jones was mighty consistent. He is 20 or more home runs for 15 straight years, and on six occasions he hit 30 or more homers. As a rookie in 1995, Jones hit 23 home runs and helped the Braves win the World Series.
Jones’ quote about seeing the ball and making the most of every opportunity is critical. Quite often, the batter only will get one good pitch to hit per plate appearance.
Chipper Jones had great eye-hand coordination and could get the barrel of the bat on the ball even against very tough pitchers. Chipper Jones knew how to set-up pitchers. He had a great approach to hitting and was kind enough to advise young players, thereby making them better hitters. Chipper Jones also was a good base runner.
It is not only understandable that Chipper Jones was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot, but it’s also easy to understand why he received 97.2% of the vote!