Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves continue their season in the NL wild-card game later this week. More baseball might come after that. But as far as the regular season goes, this was it for Chipper: A pinch-hit, line-drive single to right field against A.J. Burnett in the sixth inning Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park:
It was classy of Burnett to step off the mound to give Pirates fans a chance to give Jones a standing ovation before the first pitch. Even better for his own legacy, Chipper came around to score a run on a single by J.C. Boscan, and the Braves went on to beat the Pirates 4-0. Even double-dog better for a fan (or fans): Chipper tossed his batting gloves into the stands after crossing home plate. Everything must go, folks!
Here's what Chipper's final career batting line looks like:
• 2,726 hits, 468 home runs, 1,512 walks, 1,409 strikeouts, 1,623 RBIs, 1,619 runs scored, .303 batting average, 549 doubles, 150 stolen bases, 4,759 total bases, 2,499 games.
More walks than strikeouts — you gotta love that. And, as @GiantsNirvana and others have noted, he's one of only seven players with at least 10,000 at-bats to finish with at least a .300 batting average, a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. The others: Frank Thomas, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker. That's just sick. I'd say Chipper lived up to his hype of 20 years ago, and then some. Now, the .300/.400/.500 distinction doesn't adjust for ballparks, or eras — so it's not to fair to say that Chipper is one of the seven best ballplayers of all time. But he's in the ballpark. And he's being missed already.