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The Braves will retire Chipper Jones’ number on June 28

Feb 19, 2013, 9:10 AM EDT

Chipper Jones

The Atlanta Braves have announced that they will retire Chipper Jones’ number 10 and induct him into the Braves Hall of Fame on June 28.  That’s a Friday night game against the Dbacks.

Number 10 will be the 10th number retired by the Braves, following Hank Aaron (44), Eddie Mathews (41), Dale Murphy (3), Phil Niekro (35), Warren Spahn (21), Greg Maddux (31), Tom Glavine (47), Bobby Cox (6) and John Smoltz (29). That’s eleven if you count Jackie Robinson. Twelve for the inevitable Jeff Francoeur ceremony.

Chipper is probably the Braves second best position player of all time, so that he’s getting this honor is no surprise. Indeed, the only surprising thing about this is that they didn’t schedule it for a game against the Mets, without whom this honor would still be possible, but nowhere near as fun. But if they did it for a Mets game I guess Chipper’s man Marteeeeen couldn’t be there to see it in person.

  1. kirkvanhouten - Feb 19, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    “Chipper is probably the Braves second best position player of all time”

    Was he?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?players=1008236,97

    (Granted, arguing whether Eddie Mathews or Chipper Jones was better is really pointless because the gap between them is so minute that it really doesn’t matter.

    Side note: it took Eddie Mathews until the *5th ballot* to make the hall. That is the silliest damn thing I’ve ever read).

    • paperlions - Feb 19, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      Not as bad as Lou Whitaker dropping off the ballot his first year (at least the voters eventually got it right), but yeah…pretty odd considering how awesome he was.

    • uwsptke - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      My mom once had an old Milwaukee Braves game program with an Eddie Matthews autograph that my grandpa had gotten in the mid 50’s before he passed in ’56 (he worked at the Blatz brewery). She had it until her sister found out and bullied her into giving it to her. Weak sauce, aunt Barb.

      • newpairofsox - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        Sounds like Barb was in the BSOHL

  2. blacksables - Feb 19, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    My father served with Eddie Matthews in the Navy in the early 50’s.

    According to my father, all Matthews did was play baseball in the Navy, and never worked a real assignment. He was then released early from active duty for breaking the simple rule of driving his car through the officers housing area. They Navy felt he wouldn’t be a good sailor and preform well in Korea, so he was discharged.

    The next year he was in Boston.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      Them that can, Mickey Mantle. Them that can’t, serve.

  3. zzalapski - Feb 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Maybe they’ll give him a properly-assembled basketball hoop at the ceremony. He clearly needs one.

    Has there been any sort of groundswell to retire Leo Mazzone’s number?

  4. pmcenroe - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I may have said this on here before, but I don’t really get why teams retire numbers for players who are apart of the franchise but never played for a certain incarnation of it, ex. here is Spahn and Mathews. Do Braves fan feel like they were apart of their team’s history? As a Twins fan I don’t feel like Walter Johnson was. Then on the other side if Spahn(20 years) and Mathews(13 years) spent that much time playing in Milwaukee why haven’t the Brewers retired their numbers but they did for Aaron? I just find it odd, shouldn’t the connection be to the city and fanbase who saw them play rather than the team nickname/mascot?

    • Detroit Michael - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      I had the opposite take below. I like it when teams remember their heritage.

      Eddie Mathews did play for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta, but certainly didn’t play long for Atlanta.

      • pmcenroe - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        I dunno I can see that, but really I don’t think of them as the same team. To me once a team moves they take on a new identity and the history starts fresh reagrdless if they share the same nickname. I mean what do the Nationals and Expos have in common really? I think the memory of those seasons and players belong to the people of Montreal. And if you’re a Nats fan wouldn’t you rather the team honor the players your parent’s and grandparents watched like Johnson(I know he has a statue at Nats Park), Goslin, Rice, etc. They didn’t play for this current franchise but I think its more important to honor past Washington teams history than it is guys like Rusty Staub(no offense to Mr. Staub)

      • voteforno6 - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        @pmcenroe:

        The Nats do a little of both. In their ring of honor in the stadium, they have hall of famers from the Senators, Homestead Grays, as well as the Expos. They also have statues of Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson, and Frank Howard in the center field plaza. I actually like that they do at least something for the Expos – that allowed me to get a baseball autographed by Andre Dawson a couple of years ago.

    • uwsptke - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      The Brewers could get away with it because Aaron did “come home” to Milwaukee at the end of his career to play with the Brewers. He didn’t have his best years in a Brewers uniform, but the city has a special place for Braves players.

      The Miller Park “Walk of Fame” includes 4 former Milwaukee Braves players in Aaron, Spahn, Matthews and Lew Burdette, as well as GM John Quinn.

  5. Detroit Michael - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Are the Braves ignoring their Boston history in terms of retiring numbers? Possibly, but it’s not a strong argument.

    Best players by b-refWAR for the Boston Braves were Fred Tenney, Wally Berger, Tommy Holmes and Herman Long, but all of them were below the standards of the Braves with numbers retired and only 2 out of the 4 of them played late enough to wear uniform numbers.

    Probably the best Boston Brave candidate to have his number retired is Hall of Famer Rabbit Maranville. WAR doesn’t think much of him, but he’s in the Hall of Fame, spent a lot of years with the Braves, collected MVP votes in six different seasons as a Brave, and did wear the number 1 when he returned to the Braves for the last portion of his career. However, even a history nut like me can’t see the point of retiring Maranville’s number now. It’s been worn by 20+ other Brave players, including Tommy Holmes who has more WAR than Maranville (although one would have to discount his WWII era performances against substandard competition.

    Contrary to my initial impression, it doesn’t seem as though the Braves are shirking their Boston past when it comes to retiring uniform numbers

    • florida76 - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      The issue isn’t whether or not relocated franchises should remember their heritage, it’s doing so in the proper degree. For example, it’s silly the Atlanta Braves have a statue outside Turner Field honoring Warren Spahn, when he never pitched a day for the Atlanta Braves. There are other options inside the stadium which would have been more appropriate. Spahn means almost nothing to 99% of the Atlanta fanbase, since only those with Milwaukee ties have any strong memories passed down.

      The smart move would have been to reserve space for the legends Atlanta really cares about, such as Chipper Jones. Even the great Eddie Matthews was a shell of his former self as a Atlanta Brave, so his impact on the city is below minimal. You just can’t manufacture tradition, and try to pass it off as your own. The birth of the Atlanta Braves was 1966, they’ve won a single world title, and had some very good, and very bad clubs. Keeping the retired numbers is fine, that’s the proper perspective.

      • professormaddog31 - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        There is a plaque outside of Miller Park for Mr. Spahn and I can guarantee you probably 75% of the people who walk over it on a daily basis wouldn’t know Warren Spahn if he personally came back from the dead and bit them on the ass. Current fans aren’t going to associate anyone who wore a Braves uni with Milwaukee. Sad but true. To me, it makes sense that Atlanta has retired his number because it was with the organization, which despite moving to three different cities is the same organization. Plus there’s the association with Sain, who tutored Mazzone, etc. (Funny how my mind works.)

  6. dcfan4life - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Man did this article switch from retiring numbers to whether or not Chippers a first ballot HOF in a hurry didnt it?

  7. nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 19, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Craig, I’m totally with you on Jeff Francoeur!!! Fans may forget that he led the NL in games played two years in a row, and was caught stealing only 35 times in his whole career. That is fewer than half the total by supposedly great Hank Aaron.

  8. foreverchipper10 - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    :)

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