JONES TO RETIRE: Chipper will step away after Braves 2012 season

Fans will want to flock to Turner Field as much as possible this season to see the final year of future Hall of Fame third baseman Chipper Jones after the 18-year veteran announced Thursday that the 2012 season will be his last. The team and Jones have expressed interest in the icon joining the organization in a yet-to-be-determined role after the 2012 season according to a release from the team.

Jones made his debut with Atlanta late in the 1993 season and was runner-up for the 1995 NL Rookie of the Year award. Jones was the National League 1999 MVP and made seven All-Star teams (four starts) over his career, most recently in 2011. He also helped Atlanta to its lone World Series title in 1995, and he won a batting title in 2008.

Jones is a lock for the Hall of Fame as he is the only switch hitter in Major League history to post a .300 career batting average with more than 300 home runs. Jones’ career batting average is .304, second all-time among switch hitters and his 454 career home runs is third-most of switch hitters. The Braves icon has also tallied 2615 hits and 1561 runs to go with his 1561 RBI and is the Atlanta franchise leader in nearly every offensive category. His 18 seasons with Atlanta is the longest active streak by a player with one organization.

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