Chipper Jones was one of the most beloved baseball players of the mid-90s to early 2000s. He stayed his entire professional career with the Atlanta Braves, making him a fan favorite in the South. Such dedication to a team is a rarity and reserved only for the elite few that can produce year after year. He posted outstanding statistics during his baseball career as well, accumulating 8 all-star appearances in the process. This is not to mention being the 1995 NL MVP and a World Series champion. Jones retired in 2012 and was a first-ballot selection to the Hall of Fame when he was eligible. Jones has had an outstanding baseball career, but his life after baseball has been nearly as intriguing as his life on the field.
Jones has been enjoying retirement thoroughly. From selling his various mansions to playing golf at the Manor Golf and Country Club, there is never a shortage of things to do. Jones currently resides in Milton, Georgia, just about an hour from where he built his storied baseball career. Jones has had plenty of time to work on his golf game, in addition to playing rounds with his friend and teammate John Smoltz. Though it is a more relaxed atmosphere than his playing days, Jones still finds a way to stay busy and productive. One of the ways that he continues to further his inclination for the outdoors is through his TV show Major League Bowhunter on the Sportsman Channel. It is just one of the many ways that Jones continues to engage with nature and the community around him.
Though, not all of Jones time spent in retirement has been relaxing. He drew major heat from his pro-gun fans with his statements indicating that he wanted a ban on assault weapons. This did not go over well with the majority of his fan base, given that many of them are hunting and gun enthusiasts. He took heat from both sides for his statements but stood his ground when criticized. Regardless of what one thinks of Jones’ political beliefs, it’s admirable that he stuck through the ordeal without buckling to pressure. Though it was a tumultuous time, Major League Bowhunter remained on the air. It turned out that Jones was right to stand his ground. He might have suffered in the short run, but in the long run, the incident didn’t seem to put a damper on his image.
The Past Life
When not filming or hunting, there are a variety of activities that Jones enjoys doing. He is the father to 6 boys ranging in age from 2 to 20, which accounts for much of his free time away from the show. His sons play sports, but he is not inclined to persuade them in any particular way, “They’re great kids, they’re very respectful, which I’m proud of. I haven’t pushed them towards any one thing, I’m just kind of letting them go where the heart desires”. Those are the words of a class of father that is above the rest. It can be daunting following in the footsteps of a great athlete. Regardless of what his sons choose to do, he is happy to remain a family man. He has stated multiple times that he enjoys his life away from baseball and does not necessarily feel the need to go back and play more.
Jones has spent a fair amount of his time thinking about the Hall of Fame recently. It is a rare honor, and even rarer to poll as high as Jones did for the position. He has indicated that he never played the game for the accolades, but he might as well enjoy them now that they are here. Jones has now been paid in spades for these efforts. He received “97.2% of the vote and was a first ballad selection. It is a great way to end a storied career and one of the Braves’ all-time greats. However, Jones takes it in stride and focuses on the next chapter of his life.
The Current Life
While Jones has accomplished a great deal in his time with Atlanta, it still bothers him that he was not able to take another World Series trophy home. But as they say, that’s baseball. Jones admits that it’s a tough sport and that not many teams have the longevity of the Atlanta Braves of his era. One of his sources of pride was that his opponents always had to come through the Braves to make the World Series. Regardless of where a team started, they knew that the road to the series was through Atlanta. This is something that Jones hangs his hat on and feels good about. The most that a person can do in life is put it all out there and let the chips fall where they may.
Overall, Chipper Jones may not be what a person expects. He’s a multifaceted guy that doesn’t get too entrenched in any one aspect of life. He is enjoying retired life by relaxing and raising his family, an honorable task by anyone’s standards. He also spends some time with the Braves as an assistant, but it is not his primary focus at the moment. Someone would be much more apt to find Jones out in the woods hunting elk and other game. This seems to be his natural habitat since leaving the Major Leagues. It is also possible that one may find him on the golf course working on his short game. Whatever Jones does, he has to really put his full effort into it. He seems to be enjoying the retired life just fine. Given all that is known about his current activities, it is unlikely that he will be seen in a baseball dugout again anytime soon. And, of course, that’s just fine with him.
Written by Bill Vix
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