Braves Retiring Andruw Jones No. 25
The Atlanta Braves will retire legendary outfielder Andruw Jones’ jersey No. 25 on Sept. 9 at Truist Park, the team announced in a press release Monday morning.
“Its a great honor to have your number retired. You don’t think about those things when you’re playing.” Jones said in the same press release. “You just play the game you love. I’m thankful to the Braves for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love. Being the first kid from Curacao to have his jersey retired is also an honor. So many kids who grew up there watching me play and this will give them hope on what they can do in their careers.“
Jones is certainly deserving of this honor. The outfielder won 10 gold gloves in his career. He was an All-Star five times. Jones was the model of consistency in a Braves uniform, where he played 150 or more games in 11 of 12 seasons.
Ultimately, Jones will really be remembered for his defense, as it was amongst the best for an outfielder of all time. According to Baseball Reference, Jones is 22nd in MLB history with a defensive WAR of 24.4.
Jones wasn’t too bad at the plate either, boasting a career slash-line of .263/.342/.497 with 368 homers and 138 stolen bases. His best career season with the bat was in 2005, where he hit 51 home runs and drove in 128. He also had the highest OPS+ of his career that season at 136. Jones fell just short of the NL MVP award to Albert Pujols.
Nowadays, Jones’s focus has shifted toward his son Druw, 19, who is the No. 15 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB.com.
Hall of Famer?
While Jones enters Braves immortality, he hasn’t been inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame just yet. Jones missed the 75% vote threshold this past year, in what was his seventh year of eligibility. It’s not like he missed the mark by much, receiving 58.1% of the vote from the baseball writers.
I have a feeling he will land in Cooperstown sooner rather than later. Although voters can be stingy, especially in MLB’s Hall of Fame, Jones is one of the best defensive players to ever dawn a baseball uniform. He certainly deserves it.
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