Atlanta Braves star Chipper Jones did not end his career the way he wanted as his team was eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Friday night in the one-game National League Wild Card playoff.
Instead of leading the Braves to a World Series title, he went 1-for-5 and committed a costly error in his final game as a major leaguer.
Still, the 40-year-old third baseman is likely headed to the Hall of Fame.
"I wanted to come out here and play well," Jones said on MLB.com after the game. "Today, my heart is broken not for me, my heart is broken for my teammates and my coaching staff, and all these fans that have been so great to us this year.
"But I'll be OK. It's just one of those things. You come to the park, and I walk out of here knowing that I brought it every single day. I think when you walk out of here knowing that you brought it every day, it makes walking away on the final day a little bit easier."
Jones blamed himself for the loss. His throwing error in the fourth inning led to three Cardinals runs.
"If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have double-clutched and made sure I got a four-seam grip," Jones said, "and give (Dan) Uggla a little more time to get to second base and give myself a better opportunity to make a truer throw."
The game was marred by a 19-minute delay in the eighth inning when a controversial infield fly ruling led to fans littering the field with bottles and cans. The Braves then played the remainder of the game under protest because of the call.
Before Jones left the clubhouse, many of his teammates hugged him.
"Everybody in this town loves him, and we're going to miss him dearly," Uggla said. "It's going to be different with him not being here next year."
Jones, recognized as one of the greatest switch hitters of all time, owns Braves records in most major offensive statistical categories. He also ranks fifth in hits, third in home runs and second in RBI all-time among switch hitters.
He is regarded along with Eddie Murray and Mickey Mantle among the greatest ever switch hitters.
Jones, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig are the only players in major league history with at least 2,500 hits, 1,500 walks, 1,500 runs, 500 doubles, 450 home runs and 1,500 RBI while hitting .300 with at least a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage.