As Jones is retiring at the end of the season, his career will soon be over. His career has been filled with countless great moments and memories. I have compiled a list of what I consider to be Chipper Jones' top 10 moments in his career as a professional baseball player.
10. MLB Record for Consecutive Games with an Extra Base Hit: In 2006, Chipper Jones tied Paul Waner for the MLB record for most consecutive games with an extra-base hit when Jones earned an extra-base hit in 14 straight games. Waner had originally set the record way back in 1927.
9. Winning the Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award: While Chipper just missed out winning the National League Rookie of the Year, he still received the Sporting News Rookie of the Year in 1995. He also won the Players Choice Outstanding Rookie of the Year that season.
8. First Career Home Run: In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Chipper was asked which at-bat he would like to live forever. His answer was his first career home run in the majors. Jones' first career home run came on May 9, 1995, in the ninth inning of a tie ball game at Shea Stadium. While he has amassed nearly 500 home runs in his career, his first is the one that he cherishes the most.
7. Winning the Players Choice Award in 1999: Chipper Jones won the Players Choice Award for Outstanding Player of the Year in 1999. This award is so important to players because it is voted on by the players, for the players.
6. Winning 2008 Batting Title at age 36:Chipper Jones won his only National League batting title in 2008 at 36 years old. His batting average for the year was a career-high .364. In an article with USA Today, Jones made it clear that the batting title was important to him. He felt that the batting tcrown helped give him stronger credibility and respect as a baseball player.
5. 2012 Playoff Berth in Final Season: Chipper Jones has been to the playoffs the majority of his years in the major leagues. However, after the historic collapse of the Braves last season and the fact that this is Chipper's last season, making the playoffs was very important to him. It gives Chipper and the Braves another chance to make a deep playoff run and possibly win another World Series. Chipper hit an important double in the ninth inning and was brought home when Freddie Freeman hit a home run that won the game and clinched a playoff spot for the Braves.
4. Taken as the 1st overall pick in 1990 MLB Draft: Chipper Jones was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the first overall pick in the 1990 draft as manager Bobby Cox was very impressed with the young Chipper Jones. On his personal website, Chipper states that being selected first overall was an "incredible honor" for him and a "dream come true." The Braves went on to win 11 division titles and go the playoffs 12 out of the 16 years that Cox and Chipper were together in Atlanta.
3. Winning the NL MVP Award in 1999: Chipper Jones won his only MVP Award in 1999. That season, Chipper had a .319 batting average, hit 45 home runs, and stole 25 bases. What made his 1999 MVP even more memorable was how great of a second half of the season Jones had. Chipper was not even selected to the All-Star game that year, but his second half of the season was so good that he still won the NL MVP.
2. First Career MLB Game: Most people that play baseball as a kid dream of making it to the big leagues. Chipper had this dream, and his dream came true on September 11, 1993, when he played his first MLB game for the Atlanta Braves. While injury would keep from becoming a regular member of the Braves' lineup until 1995, September 11, 1993, was the start of a great major-league career for Chipper Jones.
1. 1995 World Series Champions: The Atlanta Braves won the 1995 World Series. 1995 was the first full season that Chipper Jones was the starting third baseman for the Braves. While it was Jones' first full season, it was also his most memorable. Chipper states on his website that winning the World Series was the "most crowning athletic achievement in my life."
Note: The author has been an avid fan of MLB and the Atlanta Braves his entire life. Chipper Jones has always been one of his favorite and most revered players.
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