Chipper nears RBI record for third basemen
Ties Schmidt for second with 1,595, one back of Brett's all-time mark
ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones continued to build on his Hall of Fame résumé Friday night at Turner Field.
Jones tied Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt by driving in his 1,595th career run in the Braves' 7-5 loss to the Mets. The two are deadlocked for the National League record for most career RBIs for a player whose primary position was third base, one behind the Major League record held by George Brett, who knocked in 1,596 in 21 seasons.
Being in the company of the all-time greats isn't new for Jones. It's something that seemingly happens on a daily basis these days. It never gets old and remains quite special.
"Any time you're catching and passing Hall of Famers, it's a tremendous feeling," he said. "'Schmitty' was one of the great ones, especially at third base."
For Jones to catch up to Schmidt is especially rewarding.
They were a generation apart, as Jones was born on April 24, 1972, a little more than five months before Schmidt made his Major League debut for the Phillies that Sept. 12. Growing up, he watched the Phillies legend, and although Jones was primarily a shortstop, he knew of Schmidt. He then got to meet him on the field and formed a lasting bond.
"He was my coach for the [World Baseball Classic] in '09 and we talk whenever we cross paths," Jones said. "He's a great guy, was a great player. I'm just happy that I tied him tonight. To have tied him tonight, it's an honor for me to be mentioned in the same breath. Now we shoot for George Brett."
The Braves star tied Schmidt and moved within one of Brett in the sixth inning Friday, when he blasted a 3-2 pitch from Mets rookie lefty Josh Edgin over the wall in left-center field, just out of the reach of leaping center fielder Andres Torres.
It was Jones' seventh homer of the season and gave Jones his 15th multihit game of the year. He has homered off of 320 different pitchers in his 19-year career.
Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.