The career of Chipper Jones, who retired in 2012, is a matter of empirical record: The top pick in the 1990 draft, Jones became an eight-time All-Star player and the only switch-hitter in baseball history to maintain a .300 batting average and more than 300 home runs.
But his legacy with the Atlanta Braves, where he played the duration of his two-decade career, is about much more than numbers. “Chipper became the iconic figure of our organization—the face of our franchise,” says John Schuerholz, Braves president. And on June 28, the team pays tribute by inducting Jones into the Braves Hall of Fame and retiring his uniform number; fittingly, the third baseman’s No. 10 jersey will be the tenth the team has retired.
“It’ll be an absolutely joyful time to celebrate and honor this individual,” Schuerholz says of the event. “The fans have been by his side for nearly twenty years, and that’s a legacy they won’t soon forget.”
Indeed: Jennifer Hanson of Woodstock routinely wore a No. 10 jersey to games and even named her dog Chipper in the player’s honor. “You can’t think about the team without thinking about Chipper,” she says. “I feel like he’ll always be a part of my Braves experience.”
Jones is someone retailers won’t likely forget either. At the end of last year’s regular season, Jones had the eighth-bestselling Major League jersey, according to ESPN. And even without Jones in the batting rotation, his name and number still commanded big business at the start of this year’s season, reported vendors at Turner Field.
This article originally appeared in our June 2013 issue.