Chipper Jones: Easy Hall Of Fame Call

ATLANTA, GA: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves crosses homeplate after hitting a solo homer in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

He wasn't Mike Schmidt, but otherwise Chipper Jones fits in nicely with history's greatest third basemen.

You never know what people are going to say about Hall of Fame candidates. Even today, somewhere there's someone who believes that Barry Larkin doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame because he wasn't Cal Ripken; that Craig Biggio doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame because he wasn't Joe Morgan.

Inevitably, there will be someone who argues that Chipper Jones doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame because he wasn't Mike Schmidt or Brooks Robinson or George Brett. Well, no; he wasn't. Not exactly. But when considering complete value, Chipper fits well within that group of Hall of Fame third baseman. And it should be said those aren't all the Hall of Fame third basemen; those are essentially the best of them.

Among the players who spent the great majority of their careers at third base, Chipper Jones ranks third in doubles, third in home runs, fourth in home runs, and fourth in walks.

Not impressed by mere "counting stats"?

Among third basemen with at least 5,000 career plate appearances, Chipper Jones owns the second-highest on-base percentage (.402) and the highest slugging percentage (.533). Yes, he played in a hitter's era, relative to most of our greatest third basemen. We can make adjustments for that. Chipper's got the third-highest adjusted OPS (according to Baseball-Reference.com) and the third-highest weighted, adjusted Runs Created (according to FanGraphs).

There are all sorts of Hall of Famers. Some Hall of Famers were good for a long time, and some were great for a (relatively) short time. But most of the Hall of Famers we love did both.

That's Chipper Jones. He's got the quantity, and he's got the quality. He's not one of the two or three best third basemen ever because he was not, it should be said, much of a fielder. But he's certainly among the 10 best third basemen ever. Comfortably.

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