Chipper Jones VS Jeff Bagwell – LET THE DEBATE BEGIN!!!!
With the news today that the 2012 baseball season will be Chipper Jones’ final one in the major leagues, all sports-related websites have been publishing articles about the greatness of the Braves’ star player.
While I am a Florida/Miami Marlins fan, I too am a fan of Chipper Jones. And I can separate the fact that he suited up for one our rivals since the team’s inception in 1993.
I am, however, taken by surprise as to the number of articles that call Jones a ‘1st ballot’ or ‘certain’ Hall of Famer.
Is his resume impressive? Absolutely!! Is he worthy of entry into Cooperstown? No doubt about it!! But first ballot? I am not so sure that he will get 75% of the votes in year one…
When ranking the greatest third baseman of all-time, Chipper should rank pretty highly on your list. Hell, it was me a few years ago that claimed that he could be the greatest third baseman of all-time.
But, when I review the numbers closely, he falls a lot closer in line to a player like Jeff Bagwell (he too had the tag of ‘1st ballot’ used when he retired as well) than he does Ken Griffey Jr.
Jeff Bagwell will be eligible for the Hall of Fame for the third time when voting for the class of 2013 occurs. He has not come close to the 75% that is needed for enshrinement.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the numbers that both Chipper Jones and Jeff Bagwell have posted during their stints in the big leagues. And yes, I know that Chipper can still add to his totals in 2012.
On paper, these guys are eerily close in what many consider to be the categories that define for Hall of Fame entry.
And while I personally have never called either player the ‘best in the game’ at any point during their careers, these guys have both built very, very impressive resumes.
I firmly believe that both players will be in the Hall of Fame. I feel that they both deserve it.
But will Chipper get in on his first ballot? Does he deserve entry prior to Bagwell?
We’ll have to see – but I would love to hear your opinion.
For me, I think Chipper will get in on his first ballot. Like Bagwell, he played for just one team during his career – a feat that is getting more and more rare as each season passes (see Albert Pujols). But I think that Chipper will get the benefit of playing for a winning franchise – and while not solely responsible for the 14 consecutive division titles that his Braves won, I do think that will get him more votes than what the Astros’ winning ways brought Jeff Bagwell in the first and second years of his eligibility.
Congratulations to both of these outstanding baseball players on their marvelous careers. I am certain that both will be in Cooperstown very soon.
How about you???