Unfortunately for Chipper Jones, he has played the majority of his career during the steroid era. Therefore, there will always be some suspicion surrounding his numbers (or any other player's numbers from that era). To Jones' credit, however, his name has never been linked to any of the steroid reports that have been leaked.
"I'm the last person to be passing judgment on what is right and what is wrong," Jones said. "I made enough mistakes in my life. "But [using PEDs] was just a line that I wasn't going to cross."
When Jones posted his monster MVP season in 1999 and then subsequently started battling injuries years later, it was reasonable to wonder if that was a result of PEDs. However, Jones' name didn't appear in the Mitchell report in 2007 or the list of 104 players who had tested positive for illegal PEDs during the 2003 season.
"There was a temptation because a lot of the elite players at my position were using," Jones said. "They were winning Gold Gloves, MVPs, [getting] All-Star appearances and all of that stuff. That's disappointing. But I've always had the ability to step back and look at things objectively. At that point in my career, I didn't have kids. It's well-documented what steroid use will do later on down the road. I just was not willing to take that chance."
While it was certainly tempting to try and gain an advantage or edge over the opposition, Jones can look back on his career with pride knowing his career stats are not tainted with the stain of steroids. As his career winds down, Jones has a career .304 batting average to go along with 454 homers, 526 doubles, and 1,455 walks. In fact, the future Hall-of-Famer is in truly elite company. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, and Ted Williams are the only other players to amass a .300 career average, 450 homers, 500 doubles, 1,400 walks, a .400 OBP (on-base percentage) and a .500 slugging percentage.
"All that really pays off, going out there and getting better than everybody else and working your tail off to get to a level that nobody else can get to," Jones said.
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