BY: Matthew Genovese
Chipper Jones has always been an outstanding ball player and even more impressively he has always been in the same uniform every time he steps on the field to go to work.
Jones was drafted in 1990 1st overall in the Major League Baseball Draft by the Atlanta Braves and has never left the team for a higher salary offer or any other incentives. His loyalty to the franchise is unheard of these days with pro stars leaving for more money or a bigger stage to play or party on, but not Jones.
His career numbers are a true testament of hard work and dedication not only to himself but his team as well. He is one of the most productive third basemen to ever play the game. Jones has played a staggering 19 seasons and 2,397 games with the Atlanta Braves. As of April 24, his lifetime batting average is .304, with over 8,625 career at bats. He also holds a slugging percentage of .533, and Jones has hit a whopping 456 homeruns with the Braves solely. His home-run total ranks 33rd in major league history. His 2,615 career hits ranks 75th.
Jones has never showed interest in any other organization and wants to end his career here in Atlanta. He announced his retirement for the end of the 2012 season. Jones just turned 40 this past week but is off to a great start for the Braves this year and is showing that he still has some gas left in the tank for his farewell season with his beloved team.
Chipper Jones has had an outstanding career full of baseball credentials that prove he is one of the best third basemen to ever play the game, but after this season Jones will be retiring from the game he has contributed so much to.
Jones announced his retirement March 22, prior to a spring training game against the Miami Marlins. He will greatly miss his teammates and the strong relationships he built along the way, also the ballpark and the sounds and smells that he accompanies with the game, but is ready to hang up the cleats.
Baseball has been the main focus of Jones life for the past 19 years and now he plans to change his focus to his family and loved ones.
“My family has been nothing but supportive to me for so long while I have played this game, now it’s time for me to enjoy time with them and watch them grow,” Jones said.
Jones is happily married to his wife Sharon of 12 years and has three sons.
“I want to experience being a full time dad.”
During the off season Jones likes to spend time hunting deer and fishing he loves the great outdoors and can’t wait to spend more time sharing that passion with his sons. Jones has always enjoyed being outdoors and just loves the thrill of hunting, or catching that big fish.
He also wants to do more charity work with his free time and help the less fortunate through organizations he wants to create. In 2008 Jones released charity wine called “Chipper Chardonnay”, with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Miracle League, an organization serving children with disabilities. Jones knows he has the ability to help people and wants to take advantage of his blessings and give as much back as he possibly can.
Most importantly Jones wants to be a family man and spend time with those closest to him.
“While on the road for weeks at a time a phone call or video chat just doesn’t do it for you anymore, you want to be with your family,” said Jones.
His passion for his family is undeniable and the excitement of being with them non-stop is an over whelming feeling that he can’t wait for. Jones contributions on and off the field will be greatly missed and his career has been long and fulfilling, but it’s his time to walk off into the sunset and enjoy his life as a father.