Chipper Jones VS Jeff Bagwell – LET THE DEBATE BEGIN!!!!

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.

C.Jones J. Bagwell
seasons 18 15
playoffs 11 6
World Series 1 0
games 2387 2150
hits 2615 2315
doubles 526 488
home runs 454 449
runs scored 1561 1517
RBI 1561 1529
ROY 0 1
MVP 1 1
Gold Glove 0 1
Silver Slugger 2 3
All-Star 7 4


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???


15 responses to “Chipper Jones VS Jeff Bagwell – LET THE DEBATE BEGIN!!!!

  1. Chipper’s numbers are much more impressive when you consider that he was a third baseman. Not as great as Schmidt or Brett obviously, but still great. First baseman are supposed to have big numbers, and Bagwell’s numbers are not as big as a few other 1B.

    Bagwell has also been suspected of steroid use, even though his name has never been attached to any real allegations that I am aware of.

    I believe both should be in the HOF. I do think Chipper will be first-ballot…slam dunk? Maybe not. But I do believe he will get slightly more than 75%. Bagwell will probably have to wait a few more years.

  2. I read an article today that talked about Jone’s 300 ba and how it put him in the company of Ruth,Williams,Gerhig and Musial….i havent analyzed those stat for myself but that puts him in pretty good company it doesnt hurt that he has 454 hrs entering his final season. He was a portrait of consistency. I Think he deserves first ballot

  3. I had no idea Chipper had more homers than Bags.
    Here’s the deal: unless he hits under .220 for a complete season he’s going to have a career average over .300 for a switch hitter. playing a very tough third base position. There ain’t that many 3rd basemen in the hall and he’s in the top three all time at that position. Unless the BBWAA loses their mind and doesn’t vote in all the slam dunks coming up in the next few years and the backlog gets ridiculous I don’t see how Chipper doesn’t get in first ballot even if this year is terrible.

  4. Um, I think the fact that he was one of the greatest switch hitters of our time is what will do it. You also can’t really compare third baseman to first baseman when talking about the HOF. Compare him to other third basemen.

  5. Bagwell isnt ever going to make the HOF.
    And Chipper better hope he doesnt become linked anytime soon.

  6. While Jones and Bagwell rate very similar stat wise , you have to compare 1st basemen to 1st basemen and 3rd basemen to 3rd basemen. Jones is a first ballot Hall Of Famer because he was the key offensive player in the Braves dominant run of 11(14 overall) consecutive division titles and he had really good post season numbers. Bagwell’s stats and chances of getting into the Hall Of Fame would have been greatly improved if the 1994 strike wouldn’t have happened (when he was having a monster season) and if he didn’t have to play over half of his career in the Astrodome.

  7. Some fantastic comments have been left about this – Thank You!

    Maybe the 1B VS 3B part of the conversation holds more weight than I would have thought, it is possible…

    Maybe the .297 VS .304 batting average as well…

    Personally, I feel that if Bagwell had Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux headlinig his starting pitching core for the bulk of his career, he would have been in the same number of or closer to the number of playoff appearances that Chipper has. What is the best 1-2-3 pitching punch that Bags played with???

  8. The best trio of pitchers that Bagwell played with at the same time has to be Oswalt, Pettitte and Clemens.

  9. I think Bagwell should be closer to the Hall then he is right now…But the wild card here is, (sadly), steroids. Jones will get in (deservedly so) because he has not been linked to steroids and has had the illustrious career as a consistent (when healthy) switch-hitter. Bagwell however, has been linked, and when the 2013 class of Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, et al. come in, along with Glavine, Smoltz, Maddux, Griffey and Jones, the nods are going to go to the latter group, the “clean” guys, like it or not…

  10. Chipper was a great hitter. But that’s all he ever was. Even when he was good enough to be able to CARRY a team, he never had what it took to be able to ELEVATE a team.

    He is a likely second or third ballot HOF-er based on being an elite performer at one aspect of the game

    He is NOT first ballot material.

    Regarding the comparison to Bagwell – Bagwell was certainly a more complete player than Chipper, but there are far fewer other third basemen who did what Chipper did on offense than first basemen who did what Bagwell did

    Of course, to be completely honest, we must note that Chipper did NOT play third for a good part of his career – and on that note, his place in the epcking order of outfielders is well below Bagwell’s place at first base

    Bottom line – will get in to the HOF on fewer ballots than Bagwell, but not on the first ballot. And as far as a teammate, I’d want Bagwell way before Chipper

  11. I had forgotten about the outfield experiment. I went to B-R to look at the splits, and here is what I found:

    Chipper – 1889 (3B), 364 (OF), 49 (SS)
    George Brett – 1692 (3B), 461 (1B), 36 (OF), 11 (SS)

    When I think of George Brett, I think of third base, but he spent less time there and more time at another position than Chipper. So I don’t think it’s that big of a deal that he spent a few seasons in the outfield (mostly left).

    I still think Chipper will get in first ballot, but it won’t be a landslide.

    • JT- As I continue to think about this, I liken Chipper to Roberto Alomar. Alomar has teh defensive edge, but a much worse reputation. But as far as votes are concerned, I think that they follow simialr paths – 2nd year entry for Chipper!

  12. While Chipper has been a good, maybe even great, player & continues for a little while, Bagwell OUGHT to be in the Hall. It’s harder because he played for the Astros, who get little national respect or notice. And, as pointed out, played a lot in the Astrodome. Stats are wrong…Baggie WAS in a World Series (remember 2005?). Jeff’s last 3 years or so he was playing basically crippled by his shoulder due to his disregard for his body for so many years making great plays. I strongly doubt he used steroids…it’s too bad someone’s mentioning something like that taints a player’s reputation. If he’d been healthier, he’d have had 500 HR & assured himself of a spot where he belongs anyway. After all, Koufax only pitched 11 years with 165 wins, & he’s there, too!

  13. I think it is pretty much a wash. But I’m going to say bagwell by a nose. As a cubs fan, I was more concerned when bagwell came to bat than chipper.

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