Atlanta Braves baseball is remembered by two players in the 2000′ s and one of those players is Andruw Jones. Jones is in danger of falling off of the Hall of Fame ballot in his first season of eligibility a decision that would be a huge mistake for one of the best center fielders to play.
Andruw Jones spent his best seasons with the Atlanta Braves. A small market team that built around it’s pitching and defense with no better glove than Andruw’s in the outfield. To understand what Jones brought to the team and it’s fans you had to be there and see him play with your own eyes.
You had to see the endless hustle and playing to the standard that he set for himself both in the outfield and at the plate. You had to see him make the impossible catches possible on defense something that Braves fans haven’t seen in the outfield since. While there may be plenty of advanced metrics and stats that measure exactly what a player’s worth is to a team, what Jones brought to Atlanta cannot be measured in stats alone it is something that you had to see for yourself.
Jones played with the Yankees, Rangers, Dodgers, and White Sox as well as his career came to an end. All said Jones finished with 1,933 hits, 434 homers, and a .254 lifetime average with .337 OBP.
Numbers that would be even better if not for the last few years of Andruw’s career being slowed by injuries. Those numbers alone should earn Andruw Jones some serious consideration for the Hall, instead receiving barely the minimum votes needed Jones is in danger of falling off of the ballot all-together.
In fairness to the voters it is easy to see why Jones’ numbers may not be eye popping alone compared to some other names on the ballot. At the same time they are very strong career numbers that if he were to have played in a larger market would earn him some strong consideration if not at least another year on the ballot.
Andruw Jones was a five-time All-star who played defense at the highest level many of us will ever watch. It is for that reason along with the solid career numbers that Jones is deserving of a slot in the Hall of Fame.
Winning ten Gold Glove awards and saving countless runs in the outfield make Andruw’s case more intriguing as well as the Hall seems to rarely reward great defensive players.
Jones may not make the Hall of Fame but he certainly deserves another year on the ballot for what he brought to baseball and the to the city of Atlanta.