ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones grew up and progressed through his distinguished Major League career aspiring to be like his father's childhood idol, Mickey Mantle. During his successful journey, the Braves' legend earned the opportunity to forever be included within discussions that solely focus on Cooperstown's most revered immortal residents.Jones has
ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones grew up and progressed through his distinguished Major League career aspiring to be like his father's childhood idol, Mickey Mantle. During his successful journey, the Braves' legend earned the opportunity to forever be included within discussions that solely focus on Cooperstown's most revered immortal residents.
Jones has had a few years to prepare for the celebration that will likely take place on Wednesday. Live coverage of the 2018 Hall of Fame announcement begins at 3 p.m. ET on MLB Network, simulcast live on MLB.com, with the electees named at 6. The only remaining questions about Jones' candidacy center around where his vote total will rank in comparison with the Hall's previous near-unanimous electees. No player has been unanimously elected via the ballots cast by qualified members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Jones had received a vote on 98.3 percent of the ballots that had been submitted to ballot tracker Ryan Thibodaux, who provides regular balloting updates via his @NotMrTibbs Twitter account. It remains to be seen how many votes Jones receives from the voters who have chosen to not publicly reveal their ballot.
If Jones' percentage remains the same, he would become just the seventh Hall of Famer to be elected while being included on at least 98 percent of the ballots. The legends who have already gained this distinction are Ken Griffey Jr. (99.3 percent), Tom Seaver (98.8), Nolan Ryan (98.8), Cal Ripken (98.5) George Brett (98.2) and Ty Cobb (98.2).
There's a chance Jones' percentage could drop when the final results account for the ballots not made public. But it still appears he is destined to become just the 16th Hall of Famer to gain election while being included on at least 95 percent of the ballots. This list includes the players listed in the previous paragraph, along with Hank Aaron (97.8), Tony Gwynn (97.6), Randy Johnson (97.3), Greg Maddux (97.2), Mike Schmidt (96.5), Johnny Bench (96.4), Babe Ruth (95.1) and Honus Wagner (95.1).
However you look at it, Jones will be joining elite company as he reaps the rewards of a career that included a .303 batting average, a .401 on-base percentage, a .529 slugging percentage, 468 home runs, 1,623 RBIs and 1,619 runs scored. He earned eight All-Star selections, won the 1999 National League Most Valuable Player Award and proudly retired having struck out fewer times (1,409) than he walked (1,512).
Here's a glance at some numbers that validate why Jones has garnered so much love from this year's Hall of Fame voters.
Hanging with The Babe, Stan The Man and The Iron Horse
Jones joins Ruth, Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott and Ted Williams as one of only six players in MLB history to record a .300 batting average, a .400 on-base percentage, a .500 slugging percentage, 450 home runs, 1,500 walks, 1,600 RBIs and 1,600 runs.
If you want to take runs, RBIs and walks out of the equation -- because they are dependent on more variables than the other outputs -- Jones stands as one of nine players to hit .300 with a .400 OBP, .500 SLG and 450 HRs. This club consists of the six players mentioned above, Ott, Jimmie Foxx and Manny Ramirez.
Patience is a virtue
Jones stands as one of 39 players to hit at least 450 home runs and just one of 12 players to do so while producing a .400 OBP. He drew the 11th-most walks among the members of the 450-homer club and recorded the 14th-fewest strikeouts.
The sample size isn't necessarily large as the longevity and era of Jones' career led him to become one of just 93 players to strike out at least 1,400 times. But it should be noted that he stands with Mantle, Schmidt, Jim Thome, Harmon Killebrew, Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds and Darrell Evans as the only players to reach that strikeout total while still drawing at least 1,500 walks.
Bonds (.444), Mantle (.421), Thome (.402), Henderson (.401) and Jones (.401) were the only members of that more-walks-than-strikeouts group to produce a .400 on-base percentage.
Mastering both sides
Among switch-hitters who have compiled at least 5,000 plate appearances, Jones ranks third in home runs, third in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, third in slugging percentage and third in OPS.
Jones will be the 12th switch-hitting position player elected to the Hall of Fame, but just the seventh who has played within the past 75 years. The only other switch-hitting position players who played after the end of World War II and were elected to the HOF are Mantle, Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith, Tim Raines, Roberto Alomar and Red Schoendienst.
Jones' switch-hitting splits highlighted the consistency of his career. He hit .304/.391/.498 against left-handers and .303/.405/.541 against right-handers.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.