It is time for the great Chipper Jones to walk away from the diamond

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Chipper Jones is flourishing and leaving on his own terms.

Despite remaining an absolutely dominant force on the diamond at the age of 40, switch-hitting third baseman Chipper Jones, a surefire future Hall of Famer, will not even entertain the idea of delaying retirement and playing for the Atlanta Braves in 2013.

Jones, who the Braves nabbed with the first pick in the 1990 draft out of The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, leads the team in batting average (.320), on-base percentage (.396) and slugging percentage (.516).

More impressively, the eight-time All-Star and 1999 National League MVP, who premiered for Atlanta in September 1993, is hitting .368 with 13 doubles, five homers and 22 RBI in his past 30 games.

When a reporter asked the 2008 NL Batting Champion on Sunday if he would reconsider his plan to move to Del Boca Vista, Jones provided an extremely elaborate response.

“No,” said Jones, who helped guide the Braves to the 1995 World Series championship and has compiled 464 home runs, 1,609 RBI and 2,693 hits in 18-seasons in “Hotlanta.”

Granted, for Braves fans and the sport of baseball, it would be tremendous for Jones to continue performing in Atlanta.

However, it will also be a pleasant novelty to watch a fulfilled, and decorated, man leave the world of athletics on his own terms while still flourishing.

Now is simply the ideal time for the great Chipper Jones to call it a career.

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