According to Cory McCartney of Fox Sports South, 38-year old outfielder and former New York Yankee Andruw Jones is set to announce his retirement.
After playing two seasons overseas in Japan for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, Andruw Jones was lobbying for a comeback to the major leagues, but as McCartney points out, he’s going to retire instead.
The veteran outfielder last appeared in the MLB back in 2012 as a member of the New York Yankees. Before that he played partially for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers after spending 12 seasons with the Atlanta Braves from 1996-2007.
In two seasons with the Yankees (2011-2012), Andruw Jones served primarily as a fourth outfielder, slashing .220/.322/.447 with a .769 OPS, 27 homers and 67 RBI.
Sure the title of my article is ‘Former New York Yankee Andruw Jones Set to Retire’, but we all know the MLB club with which the five-time All-Star will be most strongly associated with is obviously the Atlanta Braves.
Andruw Jones was a key member of the hellacious Atlanta Braves core that included Chipper Jones, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine – who all battled the Yankees throughout the late ’90’s and early ’00’s in what became one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.
Even though I was just four year old at the time, I’ll never forget when a 19-year old baby faced Andruw Jones came trotting into Game One of the 1996 World Series in Yankee Stadium and broke the great Mickey Mantle‘s record by becoming the youngest player ever to hit a home run in the postseason, and just the second player ever to homer in his first two World Series at bats.
Those two homers lifted the Braves to a 12-1 lead, and after they won the next game and returned home with a commanding two-game lead the series appeared all but over – but David Cone, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter and co. had different plans, and the rest as we like to say – is history.
Anyway, after debuting as the top prospect in the Braves farm system, Andruw Jones wen’t on to become one of the best outfielders in all of baseball, combining his booming offensives bat with gold-glove caliber defense. As a matter of fact, after finishing fifth in voting for the Rookie of the Year Award in 1997, Jones would go on to win 10-straigh Gold Gloves from 1998-2007, and he also raked 26 or more home runs in ten straight seasons from 1998-2007, including a 51-home run season in 2005 and a 41-home run season in 2006.
When all was said and done, the kid from Willemstad, Curacao finished his illustrious 17-year career with a .254/.337/.486 slash line with 434 career home runs and 1,289 career RBI.
Also, according to Baseball Reference, his career defensive war of 24.1 ranked him number 20 all-time.
In 2018 both Andruw and Chipper Jones will both be eligible for the Hall of Fame, where I’m sure they’ll join teammates John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux.