Published Thursday, April 26, 2012
To the right of this editorial, cartoonist David Boyd has drawn longtime Atlanta Braves superstar Chipper Jones and his tomahawk bound for Cooperstown. That would be Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
We agree with the Newnan cartoonist. Chipper Jones will one day be voted into the Hall of Fame. Before that vote, we hope Jones has a few more heroics this baseball season, which he has declared will be his last as a player. He plans to retire at this season’s end. A player must be retired five years before becoming eligible for the Hall of Fame. That would make Jones first eligible in 2018.
Jones celebrated his 40th birthday Tuesday. He is the elder statesman on the Braves, where he has played his entire big league career.
At 40, and with a half dozen knee surgeries behind him, Jones is having a hard time playing regularly this final season. But he is the leader of this team. He has been a spark plug already this season when he’s in the lineup. His presence —even when he’s not in the lineup — is important for the relatively young team.
Braves fans would love to see Jones have one more strong season and help this 2012 team get into the playoffs and maybe even the World Series. That would be quite a sendoff for Jones. Another World Series championship would be a grand finale in his playing career. Then five years hence that trip to Cooperstown would be the icing on the cake for one of this generation’s greatest baseball players.