Chipper Jones' top 10 career moments

As a rookie, Chipper Jones hit two home runs in his first postseason game, Game 1 of the 1995 N.L. Division Series against the Colorado Rockies. Jones hit a three-run homer in Game 1 of 2001 NLDS off Houston Astros reliever Billy Wagner, who had held Jones hitless in 8 previous appearances. Jones won the 1999 NL MVP award, and the clincher was his four home runs and seven RBIs in a series sweep against the New York Mets in September. Jones went 3-for-3 with a home run at the 2000 All-Star Game played at T

(Editor’s note: This article first appeared on March 22, 2012, following Braves third baseman Chipper Jones’ announcement that the 2012 season would be his last.)

1. Smashing playoffs debut. As a rookie, hit two home runs in his first postseason game, Game 1 of the 1995 National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies,  including the game-winner in the ninth inning of a 5-4 Braves victory. The decisive hit came with two outs off Curtis Leskanic. "I don't even think I realized what I had done," Jones said after the game. "It was like I was running with my feet two feet off the ground." He also made a diving stop of an Andres Galarraga smash in the eighth inning.

2. Breakthrough against Wagner. Hit a three-run homer for a 7-4 victory in Game 1 of 2001 NLDS against the Houston Astros. The homer came off Billy Wagner, who had held Jones hitless (including six strikeouts) in eight previous plate appearances. "I certainly wasn't bubbling over with confidence when I walked into the batter's box," Jones said.

3. Shea Stadium spectacular. Won the 1999 NL MVP award, and the clincher was his four home runs and seven RBIs in a series sweep against the New York Mets in September. How tough was Jones on the Mets? They accused him of being tipped off to pitches — although two of the homers came with the bases empty. "You have a sense like you can do no wrong at the plate," Jones said. "No other way to explain it."

4. All-Star blast. Went 3-for-3 with a home run at the 2000 All-Star Game played at Turner Field. With Bobby Cox as manager, Jones tied the score — the NL would go on to lose — at 1-1 in the third inning. He became the 13th player to hit an All-Star home run in his home park. "It was awesome," he said. "I mean, it's every little boy's dream."

5. Milestones in Florida. In a series in Florida in June 2008, Jones had two hits in one game to surpass Eddie Mathews for second on the franchise's all-time hit list on June 2. Three days later he hit his 400th home run. He became the 43rd player in the 400-homer club, doing it in style with a four-hit performance that raised his major league-leading batting average to .418 at the time.

6. Three of a kind. Homered in three consecutive at-bats against Washington on Aug. 14, 2006, the only three-homer game of his career. He went 4-for-5 with five RBIs, capping the performance with a monstrous two-run homer to the right-field upper deck in the eighth inning, estimated at 475 feet. "I had three home runs once when I was 12 years old in Little League," Jones said. "I thought that was going to be the last time."

7. Breaking a drought. Voted in as the starter at third base for the 2008 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, ending a seven-year absence from the game. It was the midpoint of a season where he would go on to lead the majors with a .364 average. Jones brought his wife and parents to the game in the stadium where his boyhood idol, Mickey Mantle, once roamed center field. "You almost wish the experience could last a little longer," Jones said.

8. Braves' historic day. Hit a grand slam Oct. 5, 2001 against Florida in a 10-run first inning as the Braves went on to win 20-3 and clinch their 10th consecutive division title. The Braves became the first pro sports team to win 10 division titles in row, surpassing the Boston Celtics (1957-65) and Los Angeles Lakers (1982-90), who accomplished nine in a row in the NBA. "It was a perfect cap to a pretty darn good season," Jones said of the win. He also made history by becoming the first third baseman in the major leagues to have more than 100 RBIs in six consecutive seasons.

9. Double-sided power. In Game 4 of the 2003 NLDS, he hit two two-run homers, one from each side of the plate, to tie the series with a 6-4 victory. He homered in the fifth and eighth innings as the Braves avoided elimination. It was his first two-homer playoff game since 1995. "I got a couple pitches out over the plate I could do something with," he said.

10. Setting an Atlanta record. Hit two home runs on July 5, 2007 against the Dodgers, one from each side of the plate, to pass Dale Murphy as the Atlanta Braves career leader in home runs. Jones homered in the sixth inning and in the eighth inning for his 372nd homer — all as a Braves player.

In Other News