Chipper Jones hit his 450th Homer....

Have to admit; we forgot about Chipper Jones this year.  He just belted his 450th Home Run, but it remains to be seen if he can get that magical 500 number.  If he wraps up his career soon, did he do enough for Cooperstown?
Last modified on Thursday, 19 March 2015 18:47

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0 #3 Knuckles -0001-11-30 00:00
I agree with your premise, DDT. Craig Biggio will be a good gage as to how Jones does. Biggio does have a magic number on his side while Jones does not,. but both generally were underregarde d during their careers and have very stiff competition on the ballot. Neither were seen as the elite of the elite, so that could hurt them.
I wonder how Jeff Bagwell would have done if he had stayed at third. Of course, Roberto Alomar missed by a whoppng five votes his first year with less strenuous competition, so I guess I would not be shocked if Jones misses, whether he desrves it or not.
0 #2 Darryl Tahirali -0001-11-30 00:00
Knuckles, I disagree with you only in that I think Chipper will probably not be a first-ballot inductee, and that is only because, as I have gone on at length about in my own columns, that Hall of Fame ballot is going to be full of worthy candidates for the next few years; it already is, and it is only going to swell as the decade wears on. Unless the writers and/or the Hall changes the way voting has been conducted, well, ever since it began, we will continue to see two or three candidates elected every year--and as more worthy candidates are added, the backlog gets larger.

I don't think Chipper has had the kind of career that will enable him to leapfrog over other candidates once he does get on; a player like that is on the order of Barry Bonds or Greg Maddux, who are elite among the worthy. (I'm speaking of their statistical qualificatio ns and not what might have contributed to them.) But Jones is one of the best third basemen to ever play the game, and for a position that has been shorted with respect to Hall representati on, he is practically a gimme.

As for the question about the "magica l 500 number" and whether he did enough, I do think that, as with anything, context is important. Hitting 450 home runs is not spectacular- -for a corner outfielder or first basemen. For a third baseman, that's pretty impressive; only Schmidt and Mathews have hit more at that position. You expect big production from the positions that don't require much defensive skills, and to get them from a position that does require defensive ability, such as third base, is exceptional. Granted, Jones is league-avera ge as a defender, but he can play third at the major-league level, and his bat has been outstanding the whole time. (The Braves did try him in left field for a few seasons.) In that respect, I see Jones as a Craig Biggio type for third basemen. Moreover, as a switch-hitte r, Jones is on a short list of the great ones: Mantle, Rose, Murray, Frisch. Yeah, he's Hall-worthy. But maybe not on the first ballot because of the high compression of other worthy candidates.
0 #1 Knuckles -0001-11-30 00:00
If he retired after last year, like he wanted to do before it became a wasted season due to injury, he would have been first-ballot . That won't change.

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