Submitted by Jon Freeman
Earlier this year Chipper Jones was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. During his time with the Atlanta Braves he was the 1999 National League Most Valuable Player, and also won a batting title in 2008 when he hit .364 while also leading the National League in on-base percentage with a mark of .470. At the end of his 19 years in the big leagues – all with the Braves – Jones had totaled 2,726 hits, 468 home runs and more walks (1,512) than strikeouts (1,409). He was named to eight All-Star Games and finished in the Top 10 of the National League MVP voting five times.
Jones is one of only nine players in big league history with at least 400 home runs, a .300 average, a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging average. His 1,623 RBI are the most of any player whose primary position was third base. But before Chipper Jones amassed these Hall of Fame worthy statistics during his career with the Atlanta Braves, he was a country boy from a small town in Florida who played baseball in the backyard with his dad and dreamed of the major leagues. In his recent autobiography, Ballplayer, Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career. Beginning with learning the art of switch-hitting and being the number one overall pick for the Braves in the 1990 draft, Jones takes us into the clubhouse of the Braves’ extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last division win in 2005. Along the way, he delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and the famous Braves brothers – Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz – and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds, his overnight rise to super stardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame, his spirited rivalry with the Mets, and his reflections on modern baseball and his special last season in 2012.
To find out more about the Chipper’s life on and off the baseball diamond check out his autobiography from the Gwinnett County Library’s catalog here.