Top 10 moments of Chipper's career

April 24th, 2023

Chipper Jones experienced the thrill of being the No. 1 overall pick in the 1990 MLB Draft and received baseball’s greatest honor when he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. In between, he earned eight All-Star selections, one Most Valuable Player Award and a World Series title.

Jones debuted with the Braves in 1993 and remained with the organization through his retirement at the end of the 2012 season. The iconic third baseman won a world championship during his 1995 rookie season and helped the club advance to the postseason 14 times.

Here are 10 moments that defined Jones’ career.

1. Four-homer series vs. Mets
Jones cemented his only NL MVP Award and propelled the Braves to a NL East title with the four homers he hit during a three-game series against the Mets near the end of the 1999 season. The Mets came to Atlanta just one game back in the division standings. But Jones set the tone for the series when he hit a pair of homers to give the Braves a 2-1 win in the Sept. 21 series opener. He homered in the first inning off Rick Reed and then added a decisive eighth-inning homer off Dennis Cook. Jones homered once in both of the next two games and the Braves ended up finishing eight games in front of the Mets.

2. Welcome to the postseason
Proving his ability to come up big in big situations, Jones produced a multi-homer game in his postseason debut. He hit a solo shot off Kevin Ritz in the sixth inning and then damaged Curt Leskanic with a go-ahead, two-out, ninth-inning homer that gave the Braves a 5-4 win over the Rockies in Game 1 of the 1995 NLDS at Coors Field.

3. First home run
Jones said his father always told him if he could hit in New York, he could hit anywhere. So, there was an extra thrill when the Hall of Famer belted his first career home run in a 3-2 win over the Mets on May 8, 1995 at Shea Stadium. The ninth-inning, go-ahead homer off Josias Manzanillo was the first of the 49 homers he’d hit against the Mets.

4. Fitting final homer
The last of Jones’ 468 career home runs ended a memorable 8-7 comeback win over the Phillies on Sept. 2, 2012. Jones’ three-run, walk-off homer off Jonathan Papelbon capped a five-run ninth that pushed the Braves closer toward what was Jones’ final trip into the postseason. He totaled nine walk-off homers in his career.

5. Three-homer game
Jones constructed the only three-homer game of his career while playing just his second game after missing a couple weeks with a strained left oblique muscle. Proving he was back to form, the third baseman homered in each of the final three plate appearances of a 10-4 win over the Nationals on Aug. 14, 2006 at RFK Stadium. Jones hit each of his home runs from the left side. The last one was a monstrous shot that landed in the upper deck.

6. Batting title
Jones hit over .400 during the early months of the 2008 season and he ended up winning his only batting title at 36 years old that year. He won this title by hitting a career-best .364. The only players to produce a higher batting average (min. 450 plate appearances) at 36 or older were Barry Bonds (.370 in 2002), Tony Gwynn (.372 in 1997), Babe Ruth (.373 in 1931) and Ted Williams (.388 in 1957).

7. MLB record
Jones tied a MLB record when he recorded an extra-base hit in a 14th consecutive game during a 10-5 win on July 16, 2006 in San Diego. The only other MLB player to record an extra-base hit streak this long was the Pirates’ Paul Waner in 1927. Jones slashed .544/.600/1.088 while collecting eight doubles, one triple and seven home runs during this streak that began on June 26 at Yankee Stadium.

8. ASG homer
Jones gave Braves fans something to remember when he singled in the first inning of the 2000 All-Star Game at Turner Field. He then smacked a two-out solo homer in the third against James Baldwin. Coincidently, Hank Aaron also homered in front of his hometown fans when Atlanta had previously hosted the All-Star Game in 1972.

9. 400th homer
Jones belted his 400th career home run during a 7-5 win over the Marlins on June 5, 2008. His sixth inning solo shot off Ricky Nolasco highlighted a four-hit performance. When Jones finished his career with 468 homers, there was reason to wonder if he would have reached 500 homers had he not torn his left ACL in 1994 and again near the end of the 2010 season.

10. Homer off Wags
Adding yet another clutch homer to his résumé, Jones hit a go-ahead, decisive home run against Billy Wagner in Game 1 of the 2001 NLDS. Jones’ three-run shot against the hard-throwing left-hander erased a 3-2 deficit in the eighth inning. The Braves won 7-4 and swept the best-of-five series. Including the postseason, Jones was just 4-for-23 with 13 strikeouts in his career against Wagner. But like other superstars, he had a knack for coming up big in big situations.