Chipper Jones: Better than Cal Ripken Jr and Derek Jeter?


Chipper Jones appears to be healthy

Why is Chipper Jones still considered a borderline Hall of Fame player?

You know what; I’m going to say it now. Just going to get it out of the way. You can leave all the nasty comments you want below, but here it is:

Drum roll please.

Chipper Jones was a better overall hitter than Derek Jeter and Cal Ripken Jr. He might have been the better overall player cause defensively; they are all about the same as well. Edit: Cal Ripken Jr. was the superior defender of the three.

Are you still reading? Do you think I’m crazy yet?

Stay with me here, we got a lot of stat crunching to do.

Let’s dive in.

First off, let me say that, all three players are Hall of Fame caliber. Cal Ripken is already in the Hall, everyone says that Jeter is a sure HOF, but what about Chipper? It’s been, and increasingly the past few years, a big debate. Is Chipper really a Hall of Fame type player?

Yes.

And let me tell you why.

I’m going to give you a chart. It’s full of stats on Chipper, Derek, and Cal. But I threw in a curve ball. The stats for an average Hall of Famer.  Thanks to Baseball Reference.com, you can find anything you want.

This is not an article to say that Cal and Derek are not Hall of Famers. They are. I believe it and so does the world. I got to see Cal Ripken at an Orioles game one summer. They drove him around the field in a car as a tribute. I had seats right on the fence line, so it was a moment I’ll never forget.  I’ve seen Derek play and I’ve seen Chipper play. No, this story isn’t about them not being Hall of Fame players; this story is about Chipper Jones being a first ballot Hall of Fame player.

The reason I chose Derek and Cal to compare to Chipper is simple. They are all three similar players, baseball personalities, and careers. All three have played for their team, their entire career. Do you know how rare that is? Cal Ripken played 21 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles. Chipper has played 17 seasons for the Atlanta Braves and Jeter has played 16 seasons for the Yankees.  Let’s be serious, they are going to finish with their respective teams as well. Given this day and age, I’d be inclined to bet they are the last to do so, that is compete on the same team their entire career.  It’s just unheard of. Everybody is out for the big bucks. For those three, it wasn’t about the money.  All three could have made larger money on the market. (Chipper even reduced his already guaranteed money in the middle of a contract so that the Braves could use the money to keep a star studded pitcher; ahem, Tim Hudson.) Do you know of anyone else that did that?

No, it wasn’t about money. It was about winning, family, and friends. It was about what it should be about. Oh well, shall we carry on? Where was I?

Click to Enlarge!

The chart above gives you the key stat categories. I was going to spill it all out on paper, but you guys can read charts, right?

I went further and placed a point system with it.

Highest Number – 4
3
2
Lowest Number – 1

You get how it works. I did this for every category except seasons.  Don’t worry, it wouldn’t change anything.

Totals came out to:

Chipper Jones – 31
Cal Ripken Jr – 23
Derek Jeter – 23
Hall of Fame – 15

Chipper is also the second best switch hitter of all time, statistically speaking.  He’s the only switch hitter with over a .300 average. Do you know how hard that is to do for that many seasons?

So tell me.

Why is he the Borderline Hall of Famer?

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43 Comments

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  1. chipper jones is one of the best part time players ever. If he had a regular job he would be fired for taking a day or two off every week.

  2. Your stats chart is missing runs scored and RBI’s.  It also takes out the fact that Chipper is a switch hitter

  3. J S : Quite the cherry picker yourself.

    162-game averages:
    Jeter — .313, 116 R, 16 HR, 80 RBI, 23 SB
    Chipper — .305, 106 R, 30 HR, 106 RBI, 10 SB

    wRC+, wOBA
    Jeter — 124, .370
    Chipper — 143, .400

    Playoff OPS
    Jeter — .849
    Chipper — .870

    Certainly won’t deny that Chipper didn’t perform AS WELL in the playoffs as he did in the regular season, whereas Jeter actually posted higher marks in OPS in the postseason—but why does this make Jeter a better hitter?

    In terms of Offensive WAR (B-R), Jeter and Chipper are neck and neck. Jeter is 25th (85.2 oWAR) and Jones is 26th (84.3 oWAR).

    Tell me… how is THAT borderline HoF? You say that you have no emotional attachment here, but you’re so blatantly biased against Chipper that I can hardly believe that or take anything you say seriously.

    “I know his career is not over, but his prime is. Sub 500 HR and sub 1500 RBI at this point in his career is not blowing anyone’s mind as a hitter, especially in the era he played in.”

    So… you’re inclined to take players’ production that used steroids over ones that played a clean game?

    Chipper has a very real chance at vaulting up to 25th or so on the all-time RBI list. He’s currently ranked 41st and above 1500. I think 500 homeruns is a long shot, though. He would have to play at least two more seasons to reach that mark, and that’s being a bit ambitious I think.

    “And even from a defensive standpoint it’s hard to make a case for Chipper.”

    Let’s not even go into fielding. Neither were outstanding, but Jeter is not even close to being as good in the field in terms of how the media portrays him. His five Gold Gloves are an absolute joke. Jeter has the WORST Total Zone of all-time among shortstops (-129). The next closest SS is at -66.

    There’s no question that Jeter has good hands when he gets to the ball. He rarely makes a mistake. Chipper is within the top 50 of qualified 3B in terms of fielding percentage, slightly below Mike Schmidt and Ron Santo.

    Chipper sits at -17 which puts him in the bottom of the ranks for qualified 3B, but like I said—neither were outstanding in the field. They’ve had their nice moments where they’ve made some really good plays.

    “It’s a bit extreme to even attempt to argue Chipper has been a better hitter than Jeter has. The numbers dont lie.”

    Talk about extreme. It’s really not wise to take out what either of these players have accomplished solely in the postseason. You’re practically throwing out everything they did for their entire career and sizing the two players up based on a measly 150 or so games.

    “Chipper is a borderline Hall of Fame player who was a pretty good player on some pretty good teams. Jeter is a no doubt, 100% lock to be a near unanimous first ballot inductee.”

    At the end of the day — why aren’t both of these guys first ballot Hall of Famers? If Chipper is a borderline Hall of Famer, then so is Jeter. You’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

    Before I bring this novel to a close — let’s consider the positions. There are currently 23 shortstops in the Hall of Fame compared to 13 third basemen. That’s the least of any fielding position, while the 23 shortstop inductees is second.

    Chipper’s wRC+ of 143 ties him for third all-time behind Alex Rodriguez and Mike Schmidt (tied with Miguel Cabrera and Eddie Matthews). Among 3B with 10,000+ plate appearances, here’s how Jones ranks:

    Wade Boggs, .328 (1st ballot)
    Chipper Jones, .305
    George Brett, .305 (1st ballot)

    Chipper also ranks 2nd in OBP% (behind Boggs) and 3rd in SLG% (behind A-Rod and Miggy).

    Derek Jeter ranks 2nd (.313) in batting average behind Honus Wagner (.327), 2nd in wRC+ (behind Wagner), 3rd in OBP (Luke Appling, Honus Wagner), 3rd in SLG% behind Ernie Banks and Wagner.

    I used the same criteria for Jeter (in ranking) as I did for Chipper.

    Again, why is Chipper not a 1st ballot guy if Jeter is?

  4. I really think being in the hall of fame and all the awards are based on reputation! I think Jeter, Chipper, and Cal are first ballots because when u look at it by all accounts they are pure basball players without steroids! People are really selling Chipper short as well though just think about some of his numbers and he was injured a. Lot people and still has put up some impressive numbers! I hope I don’t rubb people the wrong way but if Jeter is a sure first ballot hall of famer so is Chipper and and the Yankees play with all star teams every year thimk about the numbersa lot of guys would put up if they A-rod, Tex, Bernie williams, and Giambi in their lineups! People Derek Jeter is great but the Yankees franchise is themain reason for his success that is the best franchise in baseball

  5. Chipper Jones is not considered a borderline Hall of Famer by anyone who seriously knows baseball. He is a sure thing who should be on the first ballot. There are many ways to make this “argument,” but OPS alone pretty much settles it easily, even before you compare him to other third basemen or switch hitters. Articles like these should not have to exist.

  6. This website is awesome. The only thing that would make it better was if there was some Tigers coverage.

  7. I didnt know this was a debate someone was trying to win.

    I just listed the facts that you left out. Not the facts to support my case. I wasnt attempting to make a case. The reason I didnt have any other stats supporting Chipper was because you covered them all already.

    Chipper has always been an extremely classy player and a valuable teammate. Aside from the softball sized chunk of tobacco in his mouth every game I’ve always had alot of respect for him. I hope he gets into the Hall of Fame.

    But attempting to stack him up against Jeter is just not a good argument to make. The point of an argument or debate is not to win. It’s to get the right answer. Or in this case, to give people enough information to make that decision on their own.

  8. Where did I write that?

    Only thing I can find is: “He might have been the better overall player cause defensively; they are all about the same as well.”

    Don’t think I quite wrote that Ripken was not superior but if you are referring to that, I’ll make that edit for you to clarify it.

  9. Like I said, I wasn’t involving defense in this. I said this was about Hitting. I will admit that Cal was a superior defensive person over Chipper and Jeter. I wasn’t saying Ripken wasn’t.

    I realized that the position would be problematic. A few have brought that up, which is another reason why I didn’t focus on defense.

    “Jones >>>> Jeter / Ripken

    That is what one says in a suburban Atlanta middle school.”

    You got a laugh out of me. I think that would be said for each one though. Braves fans would chose Jones. Orioles fans would chose Ripken. Yankees fans would chose Jeter….99% of the time. Doesn’t matter where you are from. (I’m sure the suburban Atlanta middle school worships him. I wouldn’t know, not from Atlanta.)

  10. JS,

    Why all the hate? I’m just having a debate here. I’m not being biased. I’m just using facts/data that will help prove me right. Why would I want to bring up data that will help prove me wrong?? I’ts a debate, the point in the debate is to discuss both sides and try to persuade one another. To be honest, I applaud you. I wrote the article and was hoping to get a lot of “You don’t know what you’re talking about” “How dare you say that about Jeter” etc. I haven’t received anything that debated against my argument until you came along with some good points. So in turn, I try to reverse those points by stating my own. Obviously, I’m going to use points and stats that work only in my favor. I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m trying to be bias here. I picked those players as well, because I thought I would get a lot of responses to start a debate. You started it. Thanks.

    Being said, I didn’t use runs scored because I think that comes off of where you hit in the batting order and your supporting cast. Jeter batted leadoff and 2 hole most of his life, I’m not sure if he ever batted out of those spots. He most certainly will get a lot of runs scored and def in the Yankees lineup. Batting at a 3 and 4 hole, you do not get as much runs scored. Lets agree on one thing though, beyond the #5 hitter in Atlanta those years they made the playoffs, most of the time, teams didnt have much to really be worried about after the 5 hole hitter. Yankees have always had a more top to bottom lineup.

  11. The stats look pretty cherry picked to me. It is astonishing to think Cal Ripken Jr was not superior defensively to Jeter or Jones. Jones was -20 runs defensively over his career and Ripken +176 runs. That is an incredible difference. No only are you ignoring numbers from the same site you take your numbers from, but you are also ignoring what any scout as well as conventional wisdom says about any of these players.

    Ignoring the differences in position is also a bit problematic. Jeter and Jones rate above Ripken with the bat and considering position and era. Jeter and Jones though are neck and neck there. What hurts Jeter is that he stands at about -136 runs defensively.

    Ripken > Jones > Jeter

    That is what the numbers say.

    Ripken / Jeter > Jones

    That is what conventional wisdom says.

    Jeter > Ripken > Jones

    That is what New York says.

    Jones >>>> Jeter / Ripken

    That is what one says in a suburban Atlanta middle school.

  12. I never said Chipper was the sole reason the Braves were choking in the playoffs. But when Chipper is putting up far less production than his normal regular season output in the playoffs, it’s a contributing factor to the Braves regular early exit from the playoffs.

    I also never said the Braves only had pitching. I said they had 3 hall of fame pitchers at the top of their rotation. They had a productive offense in the regular season, it just did not produce in the playoffs. Chipper had protection in the lineup. Andruw Jones? David Justice? Javy Lopez? Gary Sheffield? It’s not like the Braves were jogging out some Triple A players to bat around Chipper in the lineup while Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine were throwing complete game shutouts.

    And like I said on the switch hitting. I understand it’s much more difficult. But just because it’s more difficult doesnt mean anything. Switch hitting is a situational benefit. You proved it yourself with your speech about the “hot hitting batters in a row”. It’s not something that is going to be help you out each and every game. I get it, it’s something nice to have. But in reality, “a really good switch hitter” isnt really something that is relevant to a cooperstown discussion. The thought of never having 2 consecutive batters in the middle of the lineup who both bat from the same side of the plate is nice, I completely agree. But hardly a nightmare scenario, especially come postseason against strong pitching staffs.

    Yes, Chipper has more HR and RBI. Jeter has more runs and hits. You’re ignoring any stat other than the ones you want to use to help you attempt you prove your point. Jeter’s production for his role in a lineup is far more impressive than Chipper’s in his role. I know his career is not over, but his prime is. Sub 500 HR and sub 1500 RBI at this point in his career is not blowing anyone’s mind as a hitter, especially in the era he played in. If you think any unbiased person is going to pick Chipper’s career over Jeter’s career is laughable.

    Your entire argument to everything is “Well Jeter only won because (insert biased reasoning)” and “The only reason Chipper didnt win is because (insert even more biased reasoning)”.

    Chipper is a borderline Hall of Fame player who was a pretty good player on some pretty good teams. Jeter is a no doubt, 100% lock to be a near unanimous first ballot inductee.

    It’s hard to even have a conversation about this with how biased you are and how much you skew every piece of data possible to attempt to sway it in your favor.

    And for the record, I am a Twins fan. I have zero emotional attachment to either of those two players or the teams they represent.

  13. Interesting thoughts. For one, saying Chipper is the main reason the braves “choked” every year in the playoffs is absurd. One player does not ruin it for a team. If he failed, then so did the entire team for not picking him up.

    Two, you can take Silver Slugger out of the debate. That goes by position. No way does Derek win that many while playing 3B in the AL. He would lose every year. Anddd, he didn’t win his first silver slugger until A-Rod became a yankee and forced to third and Tejada began his spiral downhill. Who else did he really have to compete with then? Those two were the only competition and the only reason Jeter never won it before. Before Chipper got moved to the outfield after winning two consecutive Silver Sluggers at 3B, guess who beat him out at 3B??? Albert Pujols. Then look at the rest of the winners, Miguel Cabrera, Shall I go on?

    Defense. You got me. I admit, shortstop is a much more demanding position. Some players who are moved from Short to Third struggle. It happens. A-Rod did for a while, he was the Gold Glove that beat out Jeter every year before he had to move over. Chipper should have one from 2005, he only made 5 errors. I believe he got robbed and so does a lot of of people on that year. But yes…he made a few less errors per year than chipper….but when did this really become about defense? I said, “Chipper is a better overall HITTER….” Didn’t say overall player? Did I? Even then, I could still have a debate.

    But where does having 8 less errors a season help you cope with the fact that over the lifetime, you’ll have 200 less homers and 400 less RBI’s than Chipper?

    Chipper proved that he can hit with a high average. He did it when he won the Title. Quoting Chipper “I lost some power so I just went for average. It was the best for the team at the time.” If he went for a high average every year, do you think he would have hit that many Home Runs, RBI’s and a high slugging %??? No. Ask any hitter in the majors if you want this line:

    Jeter: .314 Career Average, Under 250 HRs, and just over 1100 RBI’s

    Or

    Chipper: .305 Career Average, Just Under 450 HRs, and over 1400 RBI’s

    No offense, but just having a .314 Batting Average doesn’t get you in the Hall of Fame, so most hitters would choose Chipper’s stats. I think any hitter would give up 10 points to have 200 more HR’s and around 400 more RBI’s throughout the career. Any hitter would. That’s the difference for most hitters in making the Hall of Fame.

    And being a switch hitter is much more difficult than just batting right handed. He has to take twice the cuts/twice the practicing on each side, every day. Do you know how much that will wear you out? And to hit that good for that long from BOTH sides, it’s impressive. When you think of Switch Hitters of all time, you think of Mickey Mantle and Chipper Jones. In that order. That’s the way it will be for a long time too. It’s much more difficult and to think the only way it is beneficial is late in the game is being blind to the game! It’s beneficial in every game! Every Inning! Not just the late ones.

    If a team has 4 players that are batting hot right now, all right handed, and they are mashing the ball. Your the GM and just ran into them. Guess what, You will gladly throw out a righty. Not just in the ninth inning, you start him. Cause then your at an advantage the rest of the game (or until he get’s pulled). But if one of those guys is a switch hitter, IE Chipper, there’s nothing you can do but hope to God he doesn’t hit that day. Pitchers and managers hate facing switch hitters. They can hurt you in so many ways…I could go on with it.

    Postseason, you got me there. Only thing I’m going to say there, which you agreed with you said the Braves only had pitching, was that Chipper didn’t have the protection that Jeter had. In the playoffs, Teams were able to pitch around Chipper and walk him or make him chase because of the Braves lineups. Can you really do that with the Yankees? Not really.

  14. Let’s look at these stats, just a bit deeper. I’ll do a little more comparison with Jeter.

    A .306 average. Nice. A switch hitter. Nice. But why is a .306 batting average switch hitting somehow more impressive than Derek Jeter’s .315 lifetime BA right handed? I understand switch hitting is hard, but you dont get scored on difficulty. The only time being switch hitter really is a benefit to him was in late game situations when teams had a relief pitcher dominant vs either left or right. Not exactly career changing.

    Jones – 1 WS title, 1 MVP, 6 All-Star, 1 batting champion, 2 Silver Slugger, 0 Gold Gloves.

    Jeter – 5 WS title, 0 MVP, 11 All-Star, 0 batting champion, 4 Silver Slugger, 5 Gold Gloves.

    So 1 MVP & 1 Batting Championship somehow equals better? Chipper’s lone MVP is the only time he even finished in the top 3, a feat Jeter has done on 3 different occasions. And while yeah a batting title is something to be proud of, if you ask any MLB player if he could have his choice of a .306 lifetime average with a batting title, or a .314 lifetime average over the same span without one, they will all pick the .314.

    Now let’s look at postseason numbers. Jeter has been to the playoffs 14 times to Chipper’s 11. Not a huge discrepancy. Jeter has played many more games though, due to the Braves regularly choking their way out early. Yeah some of those Yankees teams were absolutely ridiculous, but the Braves had a stretch with 3 hall of fame pitchers in their prime at the top of their rotation. It’s not like the Braves were just limping into the playoffs.

    With the Braves pitching, they didnt need huge offensive numbers to win. Smoltz’s career posteason era of 2.74. Maddux’s 3.27 (was closer to 2.00 with the Braves, he got bombed as member of the Cubs in 89). Glavine with a 3.30. But when you have Chipper hitting 20 points lower in the playoffs as a supposed cornerstone of your lineup, bad things happen. That is how you win a single world series in 11 posteason appearances.

    Jones has a 25.61 AB/HR ratio in the playoffs, as a middle of the lineup hitter. Jeter has 29.95 AB/HR as a top of the lineup player. Not exactly hall of fame stuff.

    It’s a bit extreme to even attempt to argue Chipper has been a better hitter than Jeter has. The numbers dont lie.

    And even from a defensive standpoint it’s hard to make a case for Chipper. Chipper’s career fielding % is .956 (.953 at 3B) while Jeter has a .976 all at SS. Jeter has a 5-0 edge in Gold Gloves while playing a much more demanding position. And yes I know you can argue a few of those gold gloves and make a very valid argument. But even then, Chipper has nothing to show for his defense, regardless of how amazing people may think it is.

    So when people cringe at the thought of Chipper being a first ballot HoFer, I cringe with them.

  15. Were Ripken and Jeter rally great shortstops defensively? I really wasn’t all that impressed with Ripken, Jeter had his moments (a couple of times he ran into the stands and the hustle play and toss to get Giambi which I thought he got a generous call on), but he was nowhere near Smith or Visquel. It all just goes to show you that for some reason these two players are revered and Chipper (even though he has better numbers) is less respected. Chipper was the backbone of one of the greatest teams of all times. Cal’s teams never did anything and Derek’s did everything. It’s all perception.

  16. He did win an MVP and a GG, probably should have won the ROY over Nomo, won a batting title, and had the misfortune of hitting in the steroid era. He would be in the HOF even if he had played his entire career at left field, which speaks volumes about his hitting prowess. Defense was underrated in years prior to 2008 and it’s probably overrated at this point – and gold gloves have always been useless.

    I don’t know how you wouldn’t take a 1st baseman’s bat with league average defense over the light-hitting stylings of Brooks Robinson. Schmidt, Matthews, and Chipper are the only 3B who would make the Hall at any position. Boggs and Brett are the only other ones who would have a case, but their hitting alone don’t make them HOFers. Supposedly this is the argument for Jeter’s HOF case – he’s a top 5 shortstop because of his bat. I wouldn’t put Jeter top 5, but he’s quite close because of his bat (and despite his defense). Guys like Ripken, A-Rod, Yount, Larkin, Smith, and Wagner dominate the top 5.

  17. The metrics you are using to make his case vs the HOF are fatally flawed, as pointed out. Besides, his numbers speak well enough on their own. He’s a high peak long career great hitter at a position that is lower on the offensive output expectation and unerrepresented in the HOF. He is by every metric and the eyeball test a league average defender, and as such has no business being in the conversation with Schmidt, but he’l make the Hall. First ballot? nah. He won very few individual honors ( no MVPs, no GG, one hitting title). He played 1/6th of his career in LF too. Would I take him over the low end of the HOF 3b crowd? sure. But top 4 ? probly not, as it’s a defensive premium position….I’d put him in there with Boggs…that level of guy. I think Boggs was a 1st ballott, but he won so many individual honors it skewed the voters IMO.

  18. Does this include pitchers that hit? Even if it doesn’t the average hall of fame player includes Ozzie Smith, the last player to deserve a hall of fame vote, let alone an almost unanimous first ballot ticket (91.7%). Really? With his robust .262 lifetime Only hitting 300 once in his career and his mind-blowing 28 home runs. Was he a great fielder? Sure but hall of fame is supposed to be for the elite. The hall of fame is a joke, Ozzie Smith is in while the late great Ron Santos couldn’t even get in on the veterans ballot? Joke. Players like Willie mays and babe Ruth (the best overall baseball player of all-time. Don’t believe me check out his pitching stats 18 game winner, 23, 24, 13. And hit 714 home runs without steroids (ahem Barry bonds). Whether chipper jones gets into the hall of fame or not, he had a hall of fame career.

  19. Love the debate!
    @EEEE: Won’t argue against Chipper as a hitter and HOF performer, but Ripken’s 5 gold gloves belie the description, “below average defensively.” Agree that Jeter is not particularly impressive in the field, but his 2 gold gloves still outstrip Jones’ zero. GG’s are voted on by coaches/managers. If you’re a Bill James apostle, both Jeter and Jones are under league average for range factor, with Ripken just barely over in RF/9.

  20. I also wasn’t aware this was up for debate. Maybe among your lay friends, but anyone who has ever looked at Chipper’s stats know that he is a sure HOFer.

    On a rate an aggregate level he belongs, and he may very well be one of those inner circle HOFers (Mays, Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Aaron, Schmidt, Seaver, Musial, etc.). 3B is the most under-represented position in the HOF and Chipper is quite handily better than everyone but Schmidt and Matthews, whom has a solid argument against both.

    Back to Jeter and Ripken, they were both below average defensively. Jeter is annually among the poorest defenders, despite his one-year “renaissance” (which was likely just a statistical blip, since defense normalizes multiple seasons). Jeter has been a consistently poor defender over his career. On the other hand, Chipper has been right around average for 3B. He was even better earlier in his career when advanced fielding stats didn’t exist (he was a converted shortstop).

    No, outside of New York and Virginia, you’d be a fool to think Jeter or Ripken was a better baseball player than Chipper.

  21. I’ll give you that his career has been better than Jeter’s. I can’t say the same for Ripken. It goes beyond numbers with Cal. Sure, the consecutive games streak was phenomenal (and won’t ever be broken), but what separated Ripken was the way he changed the shortstop position. Before Cal, shortstops were evaluated primarily for their defense. He provided that, but possessed power like almost no one who played the position before him. He stopped being an everyday shortstop at the start of the 1997 season and still holds the ML record for HR by a shortstop – that’s a period that spans almost the entire Steroid Era! Chances are without Ripken, guys like A-Rod, Garciaparra and Tejada would have been funneled to a corner infield spot.

    Not to say that Chipper doesn’t belong in the HOF. The true measure of his Hall-worthiness isn’t strictly in numbers. It’s that he was considered among the best players at his position in his era for an extended period. Consider Jeff Kent. Higher BA, OBP and OPS than Ripken. More HR and RBI than Jeter. But how many think of him as one of the best second basemen of his era? Additionally, how many people feel like Kent’s a glaring omission from Cooperstown?

  22. My perception is that the consensus of baseball writers (i.e., those who primarily cover baseball and who will make up the voting pool) is that he’s a clear HOFer, likely on the first ballot.

    The only person I can remember making a case against him in the last few years is that football-addled doofus Eric Kuselias, a “case” he made up mostly of Chipper’s not having 3000 hits or 500 homers. The normally even keeled Buster Olney was nearly apoplectic and essentially asked him if he was high.

  23. I think it’s way to early to tell if Tulowiski and Longoria will stay with their respected teams for their career. It’s tough to say they will because both don’t play on a money market team. Who know’s what the money will be like for them (what’s being offered at the time) when they become free agents again…if they make it that far without being resigned. I’d like to think Jason Heyward and Tommy Hanson will continue as braves for the rest of their career, but it’s wayyyy to early to tell.

    Screwball, thanks for the compliments. That’s the reason I wrote this article, simple fact that people still debate it, saying “oh he only won one MVP title”. It irks me that people think the number of MVP titles are what makes a HOF player. He was every bit as valuable during the consecutive division streak as Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz.

  24. I have never thought Chipper “dont call me Larry” Jones was anything but a first ballot Hall Of Famer. I actually am shocked that people think he is borderline. And I have never liked the guy.

  25. The largest underlying (and indirect) point that this article makes is that playing in a large market gets you more attention (and therefor more respect). The second someone asks “is Chipper a first ballot HOFer?” you immediately know they don’t really keep up with baseball.

    This is an excellent article that cuts through all the media b.s. and really lays it out. It blows my mind that Chipper has sustained such a high level of play over such a long period of time and yet no one really takes notice.

  26. i like the article…

    i would like to add that i think that the following two players will stay with their team their whole career:

    Troy Tulowiski (sp.)
    Even Longoria

  27. Nope, pretty sure it was only hitters. As stated before, it accounts for the entire hitting Hall of Fame. Every era. Back then, HR’s weren’t as popular as they are now, and didn’t happen as often. Some members in the Hall of Fame had very low HR numbers, but they excelled in everything else.

    Standards for Hall of Fame back then are much different than they are now.

  28. I would say that you would have to compare Chipper to hall of fame 3rd basemen. Fred McGriff is a “fringe hall of famer” who will probably never make it, but I can compare his hitting stats to Cal, Jeter and the “Avg HOF” and he ranks higher than them all based on your point system.

    Also, there is a problem with how you arived at your stats for the average HOF’er. Without looking at any data, I can tell you that there is no way the average HOF’er only hit 11.7 HR/Yr. Instead of taking the average total HR and dividing that by the average number of years, you have to find the HR/Yr rate for each HOF’er and find the average of those numbers.

  29. Wesley,

    Yes it does, I think. Baseballreference.com has the stats. Not sure if I can do it there to include modern day only projections.

    That is the reason some think Chipper is just an above average player, just because of the era he plays in.

    To me, that’s a bunch of bull. We have better overall pitchers in this era too, right?

  30. Your average statistics for a Hall of Famer, does that include the Dead Ball era? Obviously, that Era would greatly skew the data of the average HOFer. Statistics for an average HOFer should be from the Modern Era on (circa 1973). Dead Ball was a different game, different era.

  31. David,

    Thanks. I’ve read about it throughout the past few years. I agree, most consider him a Hall of Famer, but it’s also been debated (ESPN, etc) if he is a Hall of Famer and if he is, what round will he be inducted in. I can’t believe most don’t think he is a 1st ballot HOF. I’ve heard he was good, but not that good on talk shows, radio, espn.

  32. Good points made here, but I am confused about the question: “Why is he the Borderline Hall of Famer?”

    Does anybody really consider Chipper Jones a “borderline” HOF guy?

    Like I said, you made good points, I’m just surprised the points needed to be made.

  33. Slee,

    If you check around, he has been debated as an hall of famer. Most consider him a Hall of Famer, but not a 1st ballot HOF, which disturbs me.

  34. “Why is he the Borderline Hall of Famer?”

    Eh? I have been assuming for years that Larry is a 1st Ballot. Didn’t even know there was a debate.

  35. Well, Chipper started out a shortstop. Cal played 3B a few years as well. I imagine Jeter will move eventually. Even among third basemen, Chipper ranks high using overall career numbers.

  36. I agree Chipper deserves the HOF (2nd best switch-hitting WAR of all time after Mantle). I imagine those who’d argue otherwise would cite his position (3B/OF during an age of power-hitting 3B and OF) versus Cal and Jeter, who both played stellar defense primarily at SS in addition to their offensive efforts. No doubt that, among those 3, he’s the guy you’d want at bat in his prime.

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