CLEVELAND -- There was a time when there was reason to wonder if there might be a day in which Chipper Jones would record his 3,000th hit. But the injury woes that Jones has encountered over the course of the past few years have brought him to a point where he's simply going to have to enjoy whatever milestones he can reach.
With his second-inning single off Fausto Carmona in Sunday afternoon's 5-2 loss to the Indians, Jones recorded the 2,000th hit of his career. The 35-year-old Braves third baseman is now two doubles shy of joining Eddie Murray and Chili Davis as the only switch-hitters in Major League history to record 2,000 hits, 400 doubles and 350 homers in a career.
"It's a pretty cool milestone for me," said Jones, who ended his latest stint on the disabled list on Wednesday. "When you think back about 2,000 hits, it's a lot of hits. It's just one of those cool things you do when you play for a long time."
From his 1995 rookie season through 2003, Jones never played in fewer than 153 games in a season. During that span, he averaged 176 hits per season. If you break it down to a per-game basis, he has recorded 1.11 hits/game over the course of his entire career.
With this in mind, Jones has to wonder how much more likely 3,000 career hits would have been if he hadn't been battling injuries for most of the past three seasons. A nagging hamstring injury limited him to 137 games in '04. Multiple leg injuries and bothersome feet prevented him from playing in more than 110 games during the 2005-06 seasons.
Jones entered this season intent on playing at least 150 games. That goal was negated by a May 11 collision with Pirates third baseman Jose Bautista. The bruised hands that he incurred limited Jones to just seven games from May 12 through this past Wednesday.
"Getting 2,000 was certainly a goal," Jones said. "Now, I want to work on the next 1,000 hits. I don't know if I'll play long enough; we'll see."
Jones, who is the only switch-hitter in Major League history to have both a .300 batting average and at least 300 homers, already has the all-time Atlanta record for most career hits.
When told he needs another 1,599 to match Hank Aaron's franchise record for hits, Jones smirked and said, "That's definitely not going to happen."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.