So, Mr. Jones has decided 2012 will be his last wearing the Tomahawk across his chest. While Braves fans are waxing poetic about his loss to the organization, many fans of opponents are making arguments against Chipper's standing in history. While most have to admit that he's a likely Hall of Famer, the general consensus is that Chipper leaves folks wishing for something more (he doesn't have enough All-Star games, he doesn't have enough MVP shares, he doesn't have enough championships). Now, I am not one to go putting Chipper beyond where he truly should lie in history, but he's often stated as the second-best switch-hitter in the history of the game, so I thought it'd be interesting to compare him to the nearly-unanimous best switch-hitter of all time, Mickey Mantle, in one area where he'd obviously lack behind the Mick - championships.
Prior to 1995, there were only 4 playoff teams, and many remember this. However, most do not realize that prior to 1969, there were only 2 playoff teams. The best team from each league played in the World Series, no wild card, no league championship series. This encompasses the entirety of Mick's playoff career. Chipper played his entire career in the wild card format. I thought I'd match the opposite eras.
If Chipper's Braves played in a World Series only format the Braves play in the World Series in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2003. 8 World Series appearances in his career for Chipper, not quite the 12 of Mick, but not far off.
Now, how would the Mick have fared in the modern system?
The Yankees Series seasons with Mick and the top four in the league with the Yankees' record vs. each team each year:
1951 Cleveland 15-7, Boston 11-11, Chicago 14-8
1952 Cleveland 12-10, Chicago 14-8, Philadelphia 13-9
1953 Cleveland 11-11, Chicago 15-7, Boston 13-9
1955 Cleveland 9-13, Chicago 11-11, Boston 14-8
1956 Cleveland 12-10, Chicago 13-9, Boston 14-8
1957 Chicago 14-8, Boston 14-8, Detroit 12-10
1958 Chicago 15-7, Boston 13-9, Cleveland 15-7
1960 Baltimore 13-9, Chicago 12-10, Cleveland 16-6
1961 Detroit 10-8, Baltimore 9-9, Chicago 12-6
1962 Minnesota 11-7, Los Angeles 10-8, Detroit 11-7
1963 Chicago 10-8, Minnesota 11-6, Baltimore 11-7
1964 Chicago 12-6, Baltimore 8-10, Detroit 10-8
In nearly every season, the Yankees had at least one team that either ouplayed them, or was near .500 with them in those top three. The likelihood that they'd come out of that dozen with 12 appearances still is highly doubtful. Why would you doubt the might Yankees? Since 1995, only two times has the top record from the NL played the top team from the AL, in 1995 and 1999. Twice in over 15 years.
So if you take away era differences, Chipper and Mickey played on a similar number of elite teams in their career.
Next up, the All-Star argument...