Chipper Jones Rookie Cards

With their 1st Pick in the 1st Round of the 1990 MLB June Amateur Draft, the Atlanta Braves selected Chipper Jones from The Bolles High School. Chipper Jones has five official rookie cards and two parallels.

The Beginning. The End. The Braves.

Larry Wayne Jones, Jr was given the nickname “Chipper” by his family who viewed him as a “chip off the old block,” referring to his father who was a teacher and baseball coach at a local high school. The influence of his father paid off as the Atlanta Braves chose Chipper as the No.1 Draft Pick.

He made his major league debut on September 11, 1993, and spent his entire 19-year career with the Atlanta Braves, loyalty to one team is a rare and honorable characteristic for the modern era of baseball.

He was drafted as a shortstop but was quickly moved to third-base where he spent most of his career with the exception of a two-year stint at left field.

The Atlanta Braves were the dominating team for much of the ’90s, they were World Series Champions in 1995, and in the postseason Chipper was money, coming through in the clutch.

Chipper Comparisons to Micky Mantle

Statistically speaking there are many comparisons between Chipper and the great Mickey Mantle.

Both were on dominating teams, both were switch hitters, and both are the only two hitters in MLB history to have an on-base percentage of .400, a slugging percentage of .500, and both hit over 400 home runs in their careers. That’s impressive!

Also, Chipper has the most RBI’s of any third-baseman surpassing George Brett and Mike Schmidt in that category. He was a skillful switch hitter who batted over .300 from either side of the plate.

Chipper played his final MLB game on October 3, 2012.

Career Stats & Accomplishments

Career Summary: Batting Average .303 | RBI’s 1,623 | Hits 2,726 | Home Runs 468.

Accomplishments:

  • 8x All-Star
  • 2x Silver Slugger
  • 1x NL MVP (1999)
  • MLB Batting Champion (2008)
  • World Series Champion (1995)
  • Hall of Fame Induction (2018)

True Rookie Cards of Hall of Famer

Chipper Jones

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1991 Bowman, #569

Topps resurrected the Bowman brand in 1989. This third year offering is a 704 card set which includes 166 rookie cards!

Within the hobby, the Bowman brand is considered the “The Home of the Rookie Card” because each year it offers collectors a large checklist of rookie cards and because that was the marketing plan of Topps in 1997 since the term was affectionately given by collectors.

Card design is a simple one. Not a lot of razzle-dazzle therefore allowing us to see much of the photo. A nice, swinging, upper torso photo of our featured HOF’er with sunny to partly cloudy background.

The photo is trimmed with two lines, one in blue the other in orange inside of a white border.

The Bowman insignia in the lower-left corner with a simple gradient text box showcasing his name along the bottom of the card completes the card front.

The card backs are interesting, showing us how a player performed against each team he faced from the previous year but since Chipper has no major league experience there’s nothing to show, they do give us his 1990 stats in the minors plus minor league career numbers.

There is a brief commentary along with the player bio as well. This was the last year Bowman uses the brown cardboard stock switching to the white cardboard in 1992.


1991 Score, #671

This monstrosity of a set was the biggest of its day totaling 893 cards. The set also contains 11 subsets, the 1st Round Draft Picks subset (cards 671-682) contains this Chipper Jones rookie card.

The card front gives us a gradient fill background and one of my favorite poses for a baseball card, the 3D, look at the barrel of my bat pose.

I appreciate it when players actually pose for the camera. The top of the card in big bold font tells us that Chipper was a 1st Round Draft Pick, what makes this unique to me is that Chipper is also the 1st pick of the 1st round.

The card back gives us a portrait photo of Chipper but it looks like he’s got a major hangover going on, hilarious! The text box gives us player commentary but lacks in player bio and stats.

This is one of my favorite of Chipper rookie cards but it’s been estimated that Score printed about 4 million copies of each card therefore there is not much value in these.


1991 Topps, #333

1991 Topps is a 792 card set that was distributed in a single series.

This set is a collector favorite but it is riddled with errors, many are uncorrected statistical errors but there was plenty of corrected errors as well.

However, card number 333, the rookie card of the newly inducted Hall of Famer is error-free!

Chipper is shown here with his high school uniform. Also, not 100% sure but that looks like an aluminum bat on his shoulders.

How many official rookie cards of Hall of Famers do you see with their high school uniform?

This is what makes this card unique but that’s not all. The photo sits on a white border and is outlined with blue and red lines that show his position and name.

An amazing card front with lots of design accessories. The card back is vintage Topps giving us everything we love on a card back; player bio, stats, and commentary.

Notice the reddish color cardboard stock outlined with two thin lines highlighted with small diamonds about every inch or so. I’ve never noticed that before.

There are two parallels; Topps Tiffany distributed in factory set form and Topps Desert Shield produced for military forces as a thank you for their service in the Gulf War.

Although this rookie card has all the makings of a great card it does not reflect in its value. It is suspected that Topps printed between 4-5 million of these. Supply did not just meet demand it surpassed demand, as a result…


1991 Opee-Chee, #333

Typically when you think of the OPee-Chee brand you think of the Canadian card manufacturer and hockey. But O-Pee-Chee has a lot of hobby weight among baseball card collectors as well.

It was a Canadian company working off of a sub-license with Topps. One can see the striking resemblance but here’s how you can tell the difference for this particular card.

At times the O-Pee-Chee brand emblem would appear on the card front. However, for this Chipper Jones rookie card, it does not.

It’s only on the card back where one can really see the differences. O-Pee-Chee did not use the traditional brown cardboard stock instead they used white cardboard stock.

Another distinguishing difference is the copyright print on the lower right side of the card back where it actually says, “Printed in Canada.”

And of course, the most obvious way to tell is the bilingual commentary written in English and French. However, this is not always the case.


1991 Upper Deck, #55

Upper Deck offers collectors an 800 card set split up into two series of 700 and 100 cards. Cards were printed on all white card stock, a trend started by Upper Deck and embraced by everyone in 1992.

Card No. 55 is an official Chipper Jones rookie card of our featured Hall of Famer and the photo shows him in a defensive position.

The theme of the card front is classic Upper Deck, notice how it takes the shape of an infield; the lower right corner gives us a home plate telling us that this is a Top Prospect.

The left side of the card front looks like grass and rounding the lower left side of the card we see what appears to be a third baseline with some dirt heading towards home.

The card back gives us a 2D text box with great player commentary, player bio, and 1990 minor league stats.

Although Upper Deck was known for its great photography I must admit, in comparison to Chipper’s other rookie cards, this is my least favorite.

Nonetheless, an RC of a HOF’er and for that reason alone finds a place in my collection. As was the trend of the day it is estimated that 3 million copies of these were printed.

 

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.


Sources:
“Chipper Jones.” Digital Image. WME Speakers. (accessed December 21, 2017).   http://wmespeakers.com/speaker/chipper-jones
“Chipper Jones Stats | Baseball-Reference.com” https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jonesch06.shtml (accessed December 21, 2017)
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