Chipper Jones just had the final regular season at-bat of his 19-year career.
He got a hit. Then scored a run.
He is finishing out what has turned out to be the most remarkable, successful final season in history. No player has ever announced his retirement before a season, and then gone on to post such incredible, consistently good numbers. No player in history. No player over 40 has ever put up the kinds of numbers Chipper Jones has in 2012.
Basically, there’s still baseball left in Chipper. Good baseball. All-Star, playoff baseball. He could keep playing. He could keep playing for years. He could go to the American League and DH for five more years and pad his numbers, reach 3,000 hits, up his career batting average. But he refuses to wear anything but a tomahawk oh his chest.
Most baseball players end their careers on an injury, or to loss of ability, or in a quiet off-season, or hanging on by their fingernails until finally no team wants them and they fade into obscurity, forever doomed to miss the game they love and wish for one more day.
Most players go until the game of baseball tells them they are done. Chipper Jones, though, he told baseball when he was done.