Tonight the Braves will retire the number of a man who was the face of the franchise for 18 seasons. Over the past few years the Braves have retired the numbers of pitching greats John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux but unlike those greats, Chipper spent his entire career in Atlanta, which is a rare feat in modern baseball.
Chipper is a sure bet to be in the Hall of Fame and may even be a first ballot Hall of Famer five years from now. The great thing about Chipper is that he amassed his Hall of Fame numbers because of consistency instead of posting just a few seasons of gaudy numbers. Chipper never led the league in hits, doubles, RBI, or homers, nor has he ever won a Gold Glove award. The only times Chipper finished atop any statistical standings were in 2007 when he led the league in OPS and in 2008 when he won his first and only batting title by finishing the season with a .364 average. Chipper won the 1999 NL MVP Award without leading the league in any offensive category. Read the rest of this entry →