Home > Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, home runs > Chipper Jones Joins The Multi-HR Club For 40-Year-Olds

Chipper Jones Joins The Multi-HR Club For 40-Year-Olds

That kid turned out to be OK

I don’t know. You think Chipper Jones should stick around for one more year?

For a guy who looks awfully comfortable with the curtain closing on his brilliant career, Chipper is having a great season. Maybe that’s because he is awfully comfortable. He is hitting more than .300, OPS’ing close to .900, and he has spent just one relatively short stint on the disabled list, Chipper’s home away from the field many times in recent years.

Simply, he is in the midst of his best season since 2008.

Chipper added to it Thursday night with a two-homer game versus San Diego. It was his first since 2009, spanning 1,380 at-bats.

But it takes on a little extra significance now that Jones is a quadragenarian. At least, that’s what I would like you to believe for the sake of this post.

Jones becomes the 38th player all-time to hit two home runs in a game at the age of 40 or older. Jim Thome did it twice in 2011 and once in 2010. Other players to accomplish it recently have been Jason Giambi last season, Jeff Kent and Matt Stairs in 2008, and Moises Alou in 2007.

None of those guys did the trick with as many at-bats as Chipper has under his belt. The last player to do this with more career ABs than Chipper’s pre-Thursday total of 8,863 was Barry Bonds in 2007.

Bonds had six multi-homer games at 40 or older (with a little extra help). But he still ended up two such games shy of record, which belongs to Hank “The Honker” Sauer. I apologize to Cubs fans not hearing/remember about “The Mayor of Wrigley Field,” but Sauer was one of the game’s greatest power hitters to blossom past his physical prime.

Sauer hit 288 home runs in his career, and all but seven of them came after he turned 31 years old. Those homers came late because he spent the majority of his 20s in the minors, in the training room, and in the armed forces.

Sauer’s six seasons with more than 30 home runs in his 30s are tied in total with Thome and Mark McGwire, and surpassed by only Schmidt (7), Ruth, Aaron, Palmeiro (8) and Bonds (9). Sauer won an MVP Award with Chicago in 1952 by hitting 37 homers and driving in 121 runs at the age of 35. He hit 41 home runs two years later.

Sauer went yard 39 times in his 40s, a record that stood when he retired in 1959, was tied one year later when Ted Williams hung ’em up, and has been surpassed many times since. In 1957 and at the age of 40, Sauer hit multiple home runs in five games, which stands alone as an MLB single-season record. In 1958, he did it three more times, which is tied for second-most in a season with Bonds, Williams, Alou and Reggie Jackson.

Hopefully it will be another two brilliantly productive months for Jones before he joins any of that company for good.

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