Chipper Jones is an American sports legend and former Major Lague Baseball (MLB) player who was an eight-time All-Star. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 29, 2018, and won several awards including the NL Silver Slugger Award (1999-2000); the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player Award (1999); and the MLB batting champion (2008).
In the 1990 MLB draft, Jones was the number one overall pick for the Atlanta Braves and spent his entire MLB career (1995 to 2012) in the Atlanta organization. He retired with a record .303 batting average, 2,726 hits, 468 home runs, and 1,623 runs batted in, making him the only switch hitter in MLB history with a career batting average of at least .300 and over 400 home runs. He is the author of a book titled: Ballplayer. Find out more about him below.
Chipper Jones Biography (Age)
Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones Jr. was born on April 24, 1972, in DeLand, Florida, to parents Lynne and Larry Wayne Jones, Sr. His father was a teacher and coach at T. DeWitt Taylor High School in Pierson, the same school Jones attended and played baseball.
The name ‘Chipper’ was a nickname he acquired from his father and family members who saw him as a chip off the old block. As a kid, Jones’s love for baseball was largely influenced by his father’s position as a coach, hence, it’s no surprise that he began to play at a very young age of 7.
He was a starting pitcher and shortstop as a freshman in Taylor High School and played in right field with a local American Legion Baseball team.
Jones finished college at Bolles School in Jacksonville, in Florida where he played for three seasons, leading his team to win a state double-A championship.
Chipper Jones finished college with a 7-3 record, walked only 25, batted .483, and struck out 100 batters. Although he was selected by the Atlanta Braves as the first pick overall in the 1990 Major League Baseball draft, Jones played in minor leagues until he debuted on September 11, 1993, as the youngest player in the major league.
For 19 seasons in his MLB career, he played for the Atlanta Braves and only missed one season (1994) due to an ACL tear in his left knee that left him on the disabled list for the entire strike-shortened season. Nevertheless, he returned in 1995 to play actively in 140 games and attained a level of success, finishing second in the Baseball Writers’ Rookie of the Year balloting.
He participated in both the 1995 World Series in which the Braves won in six games over the Cleveland Indians, as well as in the 1996 World Series.
A few years later (1995-1999) Chipper Jones won the National League MVP award after becoming the first player ever to hit over .300 (.319). He went on to win the Players Choice Outstanding Rookie of the Year Award and the Sporting News Rookie Player of the Year Award in (1995). In 1999, he earned three awards including the Most Valuable Player Award; Players Choice Outstanding Player of the Year Award; and the Silver Slugger Award, National League.
After his first contract with the team elapsed, he signed a six-year contract worth $90 million in 2000 that kept him playing his best games with the Braves. That year, he won his second National League Silver Slugger Award.
Jones reached another milestone in his career in the 2006 season when he became the Braves’ all-time RBI leader with his 1,144th career hit on June 10, 2006. By 2009, he ranked No. 10 on the list of 50 greatest players in baseball. He was 36 years old when he won his first batting title, becoming the oldest switch-hitter to win the title in 2008.
Despite a retirement discussion with Atlanta Braves management in June 2010, after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee on August 10, Jones stated in an August 13 press conference, that he would not retire since he doesn’t want to portray a final image of an injured retiree to fans.
Chipper returned in 2011 after his complete recovery from the injury to record his 1500th RBI against the Florida Marlins on April 13. He played in 126 games and while there were speculations of his retirement that year, he announced he would be playing in the 2012 season which was the final year on his contract with the Atlanta Braves.
Jone played his last game at the 2012 National League Wild Card Playoff in which the Braves lost 6–3. He earned the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award that year and played in 112 games.
In all his 19-year career, Chipper Jones recorded a total batting average of .303, .401 OBP, .529 SLG, and 2,726 hits in 2499 games played. He was honored with a fan tribute song called “The Chipper Jones Song,” and got featured in a number of sports blogs following the announcement of his retirement.
Family, Wife, Children, and Affairs
Chipper Jones is a family man with five children: sons, Matthew Jones, Shea Jones, Larry Wayne Jones III, and Tristen Jones. His youngest son was born to him by his present wife.
He has been married three times to three different women: first with Karin Fulford (1992–1999) and Sharon Logonov (2000–2012) and his present wife.
Jones’s first marriage was broken after it was revealed that he not only had an extramarital affair with a waitress, but the relationship also produced a son. His current wife is Taylor Higgins, a former Playboy model whom he married in 2015 and both welcomed their son, Cutler Ridge Jones on January 11, 2017, in Atlanta.
He has an athletic height standing as tall as 6 feet 3 inches or 1.91 meters which served him well in the game. No doubt, like all athletes, Chipper still works out regularly to keep fit.