He was the premier position player on the Atlanta Braves of the 1990s and 2000s, a club defined by its pitching.
But Chipper Jones made sure those Braves teams had a potent offense as well – one that resulted in 11 straight trips to the Postseason for Jones’ Braves.
Larry Wayne Jones was born April 24, 1972 in DeLand, Fla., and was raised in nearby Pierson. A two-sport athlete in high school who chose baseball over college football opportunities at Southern California and the University of Florida, Jones was the first overall choice in the 1990 MLB Draft by the Braves, who were then at the early stages of a rebuilding process headed by future Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz.
By 1995, Jones was the Braves' starting third baseman and hit out of the No. 3 hole for a club that won the World Series title. Four years later, Jones won the National League Most Valuable Player Award after hitting a career-high 45 home runs.
During the regular season, Jones seemed to improve with age – winning his first batting title at the age of 36 in 2008 when he hit .364 while also leading the NL 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 NL MVP voting five times.
His 468 home runs are the most ever by a National League switch hitter.
“All you ever want as a baseball player is the respect of your peers, whether it’s the people you play against or the people you play with,” Jones said. “I can honestly say I have that, that it’s probably what I’m most proud of.”
When he retired, Jones' 1,623 RBI were the most of any player whose primary position was third base.
Jones was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018.