Hoffman, Jones Enter the Baseball Hall of Fame

Both Started in the Southern League Before MLB Debut

By Southern League | January 25, 2018 9:12 AM ET

The ballots are in. The results have been announced.

Four players have been selected and will be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2018. Three were drafted as shortstops. Two - Trevor Hoffman and Chipper Jones - began their professional careers with at least one summer in the Southern League.

Jones, the Atlanta Braves legend, joined the Greenville Braves midway through the 1992 Southern League season as a 20-year-old with just one full season under his belt. The no. 1 pick in the 1990 MLB Amateur Draft did not disappoint, posting an incredible .346/.367/.594 slash line (good for a .961 OPS) across 67 games.

Despite the limited at-bats, Jones was named a Southern League All-Star and Double-A player of the year thanks to 37 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases in just 15 attempts.

With Grady Little as manager, Javy Lopez behind the plate, and Jones emerging as a future major leaguer, the G-Braves went 100-43 on the way to claiming the Southern League championship. Minor League Baseball named the 1992 Greenville Braves the 23rd best team in minor league baseball history.

By the time Jones' teammates defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts 3-2 in the Southern League finals, the 24-year-old Hoffman was already one step closer to making his major league debut. Long before he was a prolific closer, Hoffman began 1992 with the Lookouts, going 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA across six starts. Excluding a lone major league rehab start in 2009, all 11 of Hoffman's professional starts came during his 1992 campaign.

The year prior, Hoffman made his Southern League debut with the Lookouts as a reliever; converting eight saves and recording a 1.93 ERA to close his first professional baseball season.

With two more inductions, a total of 37 former players and managers have made their way from the Southern League to Cooperstown as members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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