Atlanta Braves third baseman Larry Chipper Jones has quietly passed the 2,000 hit milestone.
Chipper Jones said he didn’t need no stinkin’ rehab assignment, and he’s proving it. He’s 9-for-19 with three walks in five games since going directly to the lineup after a three-week stint on the disabled list, no minor-league tuneup required.
“So far, so good,” said the Braves third baseman, who recorded his 2,000th career hit on a first-inning single in Sunday’s loss at Cleveland. He added a double in the seventh inning, then was robbed of a potential two-run hit in the eighth when left fielder Jason Michaels made a diving catch.
“It’s a pretty cool milestone,” Jones said. “You think about 2,000 hits, it’s a lot of hits. Being able to get 2,000 hits was certainly a goal. “I want to work on the next 1,000. I don’t know if I’ll play long enough. We’ll see.”
Jones has the most hits in Atlanta Braves history, 100 more than Dale Murphy, but 1,599 behind the great Hank Aaron‘s all-time franchise record. He had 3,600 with the Braves of Milwaukee and Atlanta.
“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen,” Jones said. “I’m definitely not gonna play that long.”
He needs two doubles to join Eddie Murray and Chili Davis as the only switch-hitters with at least 2,000 hits, 400 doubles and 350 home runs. Jones is the only switch-hitter with at least 300 homers (369) and a .300 career average (.305).
He has spent much of the past three seasons on the disabled list with various injuries, but when healthy, Jones has been on a torrid pace since last summer. In 98 games since June 24, he has hit .353 with 31 doubles, 31 homers, 78 RBIs, a .433 on-base percentage and a .706 slugging percentage.
I’m not sure if Chipper is going to make it to the Hall of Fame but he could if he manages another five or six solid seasons. His body is starting to fall apart, though, from years of wear and tear. A few seasons playing in the outfield, which made it much harder for him to make the All-Star team, didn’t help him, either.
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