At the conclusion of the 2012 Major League Baseball season, future Hall of Famer and former National League MVP Chipper Jones will retire from the sport. Jones has left a lasting legacy on the game and Atlanta and will be missed by his fans. He is one of the best switch-hitters in the history of the game, and he is one of the most beloved players in the history of the franchise.
In all my time as a fan of the Braves, I can say that Jones has been my favorite player. I have enjoyed watching him dominate the New York Mets and even enjoyed watching him make waves with his Twitter account. He is a talented player who fought back from a torn ACL twice and has gone on to have a remarkable run in the greatest sport in the world.
With Jones' retirement looming, what are some of the greatest moments of his career?
1995 World Series
After tearing his ACL in 1994, Jones burst onto the scene as a rookie in 1995 and helped lead the Braves to a World Series victory against the Cleveland Indians. Jones finished second in the voting for NL Rookie of the Year behind Hideo Nomo (goes to show that the award doesn't guarantee longevity in baseball) and instantly won over the fans. He hit .265 that season with 23 home runs and in his debut on the big postseason stage, he hit .363 with three home runs and eight RBIs.
Domination of the New York Mets
Living in Connecticut, it is difficult to be a fan of a team not named the Mets, Yankees, or Red Sox. With the help of Jones and his amazing numbers against the Mets, especially at Shea Stadium, it has been easy to be a fan. In 242 career games against the Mets, he has hit .311 with 49 home runs, 159 RBIs, 46 doubles, and a .956 OPS. When the Mets played at Shea Stadium, it was in their best interest to pitch around Jones. He hit .313 with 19 home runs and 55 RBIs in 88 games there, but he has struggled at their new stadium, Citi Field.
Jones has had a spectacular career filled with accolades and achievements. Aside from his second-place NL Rookie of the Year honor, he was the 1999 NL MVP, made eight All-Star games, won two Silver Slugger Awards, was 2008 NL batting champion, and will look to add another World Series ring to his collection this season.
For access to Atlanta Braves season recaps from 1990-present, a look at trades that changed Braves history, or a look at the greatest award winners in team history, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS, and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes .