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?
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
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 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?