Coming into this season the Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones signed a new contract to ensure that he would end his Major League career in the A.T.L. Doing so would put him in a rare category of being a player who spent his entire professional career in one organization.
Although his contract stretches through 2012, there was talk of Chipper calling it quits after a slow start to the MLB 2010 season. Eventually, Jones said that he wouldn’t think about the issue further until the season was over.
Unfortunately for the third baseman and Braves fans, it appears that Chipper’s season has already come to an end after he tore his left ACL in a win over the Houston Astros.
At this point in his career Chipper is no stranger to injuries having missed dozens of games over the past few seasons. Although he had avoided DL time through August, the third baseman had spent a lot of time on the bench after aches and pains kept him out of the lineup.
Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first time that Chipper has injured his left ACL. What is surprising, however, is the fact the first time occurred way back in 1994, when he was entering his rookie campaign.
While Jones made it all the way back from that 1994 injury, this time he faces a more difficult decision with retirement looming in the near future.
Although his agent has made it clear that a decision shouldn’t be expected immediately, Chipper will have to decide if he will attempt a return after a long and strenuous rehab period. Several athletes can testify how difficult it is to rehab an ACL injury of this magnitude, even at a younger age. Jones’ body has gone through a lot of trauma over the years and is sure to heal at a slower pace.
That said, we may have seen the last of Chipper Jones. This injury may be the final stone that knocks him off the fence and into retirement.
Whether he returns or not, Chipper has already established a legacy. A key member of the Braves incredible division title won, Chipper won the 1999 MVP award and was a member on the 1995 World Series Champions.
The third greatest switch hitter of all time, and possibly the third greatest third baseman of all time as well, Jones is a sure Hall-of-Famer.
Used with permission of the author.
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