After a long winter — in terms of the state Legislature and the GOP presidential race, not the temperature — the boys of summer are almost back, which means spring is near. But before we could reach Opening Day, we found out it’ll be the last season for one Larry Wayne Jones Jr., better known as Chipper.
Those of us who watched the Braves’ unprecedented streak of division titles during the 1990s and early 2000s have been treated to a succession of retiring greats during the past few years: Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Bobby Cox and, now, Chipper Jones.
Who was the greatest *Atlanta* Brave ever?
Total Voters: 248
And that got me thinking: Is Chipper the best Atlanta Brave ever?
Note the phrasing: Atlanta Brave. So, greats from the franchise’s days in Milwaukee like Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn don’t qualify. Hank Aaron does, and I think few people would dispute he’s the greatest Brave regardless of city, but he played only about 40 percent of his games in Atlanta.
The other recent Braves I already mentioned are certainly in the running, as are players like Andruw Jones, Dale Murphy and Phil Niekro. Some others burned very bright for a short time, such as Ron Gant and Terry Pendleton. A few other Hall of Famers passed through town, usually toward the end of their careers — players like Orlando Cepeda, Hoyt Wilhelm and Bruce Sutter — but they aren’t typically considered Atlanta Braves.
So, let’s take the short-timers out of the running and, for argument’s sake, Aaron as well. And let’s keep it only to the players (so no Cox). Who’s the greatest Atlanta Brave of all?
That’s this week’s Poll Position question. Answer in the nearby poll and in the comments thread below — and feel free there to suggest other names.
– By Kyle Wingfield