LIVE BLOG: Chipper Jones' Hall of Fame speech at Cooperstown
ATLANTA–At 2:20 p.m. on Sunday, Chipper Jones batted leadoff for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, expressing his admiration for fellow Hall of Famers like Alan Trammell (his boyhood hero), Trevor Hoffman ('most devastating change-up' he's ever seen) and Jim Thome, who famously first met Jones during a minor-league brawl during the early 1990s.
Dressed in a classic navy-blue suit and matching tie (white shirt), Jones was also appreciative of the friends, family and countless others who helped him achieve his dream of becoming a major leaguer (20 total seasons, including an injury-wrecked 1994 campaign) ... and eventual Hall of Famer.
With Sunday's official ceremony, Jones became this century's seventh player (or manager) with prominent Atlanta Braves ties to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame—joining such luminaries as: John Smoltz (2015 inductee), manager Bobby Cox (2014), Tom Glavine (2014), Greg Maddux (2014), Joe Torre (2014) and Bruce Sutter (2006).
Jones, who spent his entire 20-year career with the Braves (1993-2012), ranks among the game's greatest third basemen.
He's also part of the exclusive listing of baseball's most prolific switch hitters.
In fact, if we were to construct a Mount Rushmore for switch hitters, the elite-level group would likely include Mickey Mantle (536 HRs, 1,509 RBI, three-time AL MVP), Eddie Murray (504 HR, 1,917 RBI, .359 career OBP), Pete Rose (baseball's all-time hit king) and Jones, who boasts one NL MVP trophy, 468 homers, 1,623 RBI, 1,619 runs, 150 steals and a lifetime batting average of .303.
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