Chipper Jones is the seventh member of .300/.400/.500 club

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As he nears retirement Chipper Jones’ greatness is hopeful apparent enough that we don’t really need to cite any new stats to make the case, but here’s a pretty good one courtesy of Capitol Avenue Club blogger Ben Duronio:

Among all the hitters in baseball history with at least 10,000 career plate appearances Jones is the seventh player to top a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, and .500 slugging percentage.

Here’s a list of everyone in the .300/.400/.500 club: Jones, Frank Thomas, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker.

And if you drop the plate appearance minimum down to 9,000 the club adds Ted Williams, Manny Ramirez, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Todd Helton, and Rogers Hornsby.

Jones, who’s not in the Braves’ lineup for today’s regular season finale, has hit .303 with a .401 OBP and .529 SLG in 10,613 plate appearances.

The Yankees stopped playing Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America”

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The Yankees have played “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch since 9/11. The version they play is the most famous version, recorded in 1939 by Kate Smith. As of today they will no longer be playing the Kate Smith version, however.

Why? The New York Daily News reports that it’s because “the Yankees were made aware of Smith’s history of potential racism.” Which is a rather interesting way of putting it, because there’s not much “potential” to this:

Smith was a famous singer before and during WWII who recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among other treats. She shot a video for that song that takes place in an orphanage for black children, and much of the imagery is startlingly racist. She also recorded, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” which included the lyrics, “Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”

I’m guessing this information was available in some Kate Smith biography or is in the memory of some of her big fans who may still be alive, but it was news to the Yankees until recently and once they learned it they decided that going with a version of the song NOT sung by Kate Smith was better. Good call!

Oh, and this was not the first time that the Yankees had to make this kind of call. Ten years ago they fired Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, who used to sing the song at the ballpark during the postseason, after he made anti-Semitic remarks. Precedent, baby.

Anyway, I’m sure someone will complain about this, but I feel like there are better hills to die on than “the Yankees should continue to play the racist lady’s version of the show tune that, despite what we think of it now, was never meant as an actual patriotic anthem.”

If you feel like dying on that hill, be my guest. But please, show your work.