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The Atlanta Braves announced on Thursday morning that Chipper Jones will retire at the end of the 2012 season.
Jones has been with the Braves since he was the No. 1 selection in the MLB draft in 1990.
He currently leads the league with 18 years of service with the same club. His career batting average is .304 and he has logged 454 home runs, 526 doubles and 1,561 RBIs in his 2,387 games.
Jones discussed the decision at a news conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., around 11:30 a.m. He said he’s very comfortable with the decision and it’s final.
“It’s time that I get back to the family,” Jones said.
He said he’s not sure of his long-term plans but would like to spend more time with his four young sons.
“I want to experience being a full-time dad, going to Little League games,” Jones said.
He thanked his teammates and said it’s time to pass on the torch.
“I’ve realized that I enjoy being a leader and a mentor just about as much as anything else, and I hope that when I am gone that these guys who are sitting here today at some point during their careers got a little nugget of information or made themselves better because of something that I said or an example that I set,” Jones said.
Jones was the league MVP in 1999 and has been named to seven National League All-Star teams. He has been an All-Star Game starter four times, most recently in 2008.