Chipper Jones announces retirement at end of season‎

Flanked by his family, his former manager and a group of teammates he hates to leave behind, Chipper Jones choked up a bit and delivered the news that’s been looming for years -
It’s time to call it a career.
This time, he means it.
With his 40th birthday approaching and a long string of injuries slowing him down, Jones announced Thursday he will retire after one more season as the Atlanta Braves’ third baseman.
“I have fulfilled everything” – Jones said during a news conference at the team’s spring training stadium in Kissimmee, Fla. “There’s nothing left for me to do.”
Jones, who has spent his entire 18-year career with Atlanta, actually planned to retire after the 2010 season, only to change his mind. As he battled leg issues this spring, he openly wondered if he’d be able to make it through the season.
So, he’ll give it one more year with the Braves, then become a full-time dad to his three children.
“I just want to make it final” – Jones said.
He praised the Braves organization, calling Bobby Cox “the greatest manager any of us will ever know,” thanked team executives John Schuerholz and Frank Wren for building a perennial winner and fought back tears as he turned to his teammates.
“I’ve been thinking about this and the reason I stayed around is you guys” – Jones said. “I played on teams where clubhouse cohesion wasn’t there. That never happened with you guys.”

Chipper Jones announces retirement at end of season
Chipper Jones.

Perhaps more than any team in baseball, the Mets hold respect for all that Chipper Jones has accomplished over a soon-to-be-complete 19-year career with the Braves.
On Thursday, Jones announced his plans to retire after this season, and the Mets will certainly not miss him much. When Jones steps off the field for the final time, he will end his career as one of the foremost Mets killers in franchise history.
“He’s been one of those guys where I always looked across and tried to take away some of the things from his game and apply it to mine” – said third baseman David Wright, who has played in the same division as Jones for the last eight seasons. “He’s just been so consistent, so good for so long, and been part of a lot of great teams. It’s going to be a little odd looking across there and not seeing Chipper in uniform, that’s for sure.”
Over his first 18 seasons, Jones hit 48 of his 454 career home runs against the Mets – more than against any other team. Mets manager Terry Collins joked on Thursday that he would not allow Jones to beat him late in games in this, his final season.
Jones has also caught the attention of the New York media on more than one occasion, criticizing Wright in particular after the latter won a Gold Glove at third base in 2007.
“He’s never shied away from speaking his mind, which is one of the reasons that you’ve got to like him and respect him” – Wright said. “He’s entertaining. He’s just as entertaining on the baseball field. It always seems like he’s got something funny to say. I’m going to miss that. He’s so good at this game. He’s been so good at this game, a Hall of Famer. And he still has a tremendous sense of humor.”

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones announced Thursday that the 2012 season will be his last. Here is a look at some of the top moments of his 18 seasons with the Braves.
1 – Smashing playoffs debut. As a rookie, hit two home runs in his first postseason game, Game 1 of the 1995 National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies, including the game-winner in the ninth inning of a 5-4 Braves victory. The decisive hit came with two outs off Curtis Leskanic. “I don’t even think I realized what I had done” – Jones said after the game. “It was like I was running with my feet two feet off the ground.” He also made a diving stop of an Andres Galarraga smash in the eighth inning.
2 – Breakthrough against Wagner. Hit a three-run homer for a 7-4 victory in Game 1 of 2001 NLDS against the Houston Astros. The homer came off Billy Wagner, who had held Jones hitless (including six strikeouts) in eight previous plate appearances. “I certainly wasn’t bubbling over with confidence when I walked into the batter’s box,” Jones said.
3 – Shea Stadium spectacular. Won the 1999 NL MVP award, and the clincher was his four home runs and seven RBIs in a series sweep against the New York Mets in September. How tough was Jones on the Mets? They accused him of being tipped off to pitches — although two of the homers came with the bases empty. “You have a sense like you can do no wrong at the plate” – Jones said. “No other way to explain it.”
4 – All-Star blast. Went 3-for-3 with a home run at the 2000 All-Star Game played at Turner Field. With Bobby Cox as manager, Jones tied the score — the NL would go on to lose — at 1-1 in the third inning. He became the 13th player to hit an All-Star home run in his home park. “It was awesome” – he said. “I mean, it’s every little boy’s dream.”
5 – Milestones in Florida. In a series in Florida in June 2008, Jones had two hits in one game to surpass Eddie Mathews for second on the franchise’s all-time hit list on June 2. Three days later he hit his 400th home run. He became the 43rd player in the 400-homer club, doing it in style with a four-hit performance that raised his major league-leading batting average to .418 at the time.
6 – Three of a kind. Homered in three consecutive at-bats against Washington on Aug. 14, 2006, the only three-homer game of his career. He went 4-for-5 with five RBIs, capping the performance with a monstrous two-run homer to the right-field upper deck in the eighth inning, estimated at 475 feet. “I had three home runs once when I was 12 years old in Little League” – Jones said. “I thought that was going to be the last time.”
7 – Breaking a drought. Voted in as the starter at third base for the 2008 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, ending a seven-year absence from the game. It was the midpoint of a season where he would go on to lead the majors with a .364 average. Jones brought his wife and parents to the game in the stadium where his boyhood idol, Mickey Mantle, once roamed center field. “You almost wish the experience could last a little longer,” Jones said.
8 – Braves’ historic day. Hit a grand slam Oct. 5, 2001 against Florida in a 10-run first inning as the Braves went on to win 20-3 and clinch their 10th consecutive division title. The Braves became the first pro sports team to win 10 division titles in row, surpassing the Boston Celtics (1957-65) and Los Angeles Lakers (1982-90), who accomplished nine in a row in the NBA. “It was a perfect cap to a pretty darn good season” – Jones said of the win. He also made history by becoming the first third baseman in the major leagues to have more than 100 RBIs in six consecutive seasons.
9 – Double-sided power. In Game 4 of the 2003 NLDS, he hit two two-run homers, one from each side of the plate, to tie the series with a 6-4 victory. He homered in the fifth and eighth innings as the Braves avoided elimination. It was his first two-homer playoff game since 1995. “I got a couple pitches out over the plate I could do something with” – he said.
10 – Setting an Atlanta record. Hit two home runs on July 5, 2007 against the Dodgers, one from each side of the plate, to pass Dale Murphy as the Atlanta Braves career leader in home runs. Jones homered in the sixth inning and in the eighth inning for his 372nd homer — all as a Braves player.

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