The Atlanta Braves were at the beginning stages of a dominant run of 14 consecutive division titles after a rough decade through the 80s. They drafted a young shortstop out of Deland, Florida in 1990 who they were betting on becoming the next big thing.
Atlanta fans and baseball fans alike all know the pedigree of the player that is Chipper Jones. When you think about the Braves, you think about Chipper. He is almost synonymous with the Braves name.
On September 11, 1993, Atlanta decided it was time to call Jones up from Triple-A Richmond after 3 years in the minors. The young shortstop met up with the team during their road trip in San Diego. Jones had shown his ability to hit the ball well with a .325 average with Richmond including 13 home runs and 89 RBIs, However, he did struggle defensively, making 43 errors in 139 games played.
He spent the majority of his time manning the shortstop position but Atlanta had also made plans for him to play second or third as needed. Atlanta currently had Mark Lemke at second base, Jeff Blauser at shortstop, and Terry Pendleton was the Braves third baseman at the time.
Lemke was dealing with some knee trouble at the time so it makes sense why the Braves thought calling Chipper up was the right move. John Schuerholz at the time stated, "We want to prepare him in as broad a fashion as possible. Who knows, he might be on our club as a swingman next year.”
Little did John know, they'd just begun the career of a future hall-of-fame third baseman who would be named amongst Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray as arguably the best switch hitter of all time. Chipper was one of only two switch hitters in MLB history to bat for a .300 average from both sides of the plate. The first to do so was Frankie Frisch of the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
While he was called up on the 11th, he wouldn't get his first plate appearance until September 14th in a pinch-hit appearance for Jeff Blauser where Chipper earned a hit in his first MLB at-bat. That hit would be the first of 2,726 hits the Mets killer would achieve during his 19-year-long career.
The Atlanta Braves legend went on to earn a career slash line of .303/.401/.529 while slugging 468 home runs and driving in 1,623 runs. Jones also had a .930 OPS and OPS+ of 141 with more walks in his career than strikeouts. He will forever be remembered as one of the best hitters in the history of baseball.