On March 22, 2012, the Braves announced that Jones would retire following the 2012 season, after 19 major league seasons with the team. Following the announcement, a fan tribute song called “The Chipper Jones Song” was featured in a number of sports blogs.
Chipper opened the 2012 season on the disabled list, following surgery on March 26, 2012 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was activated from the disabled list and was in the lineup on April 10, as the Braves faced the Houston Astros; he went 2-4 with a single and a two-run home run, helping the Braves to their first win of the season.
On April 24, Jones was in the lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers on his 40th birthday. He hit a solo home run in Atlanta’s 4-3 win, ending up with a career record of .429 (21-for-49) with five home runs on his birthday. The next day, in the final regular season at-bat at Dodger Stadium of his career, Jones knocked in the winning run in the top of the 9th inning. On May 2, Jones capped off a wild extra-inning contest with the Philadelphia Phillies by hitting a 2-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th. He referred to the game-winning home run as one of the best individual moments of his career, as it finished a 15-13 Braves win that saw the team rally from two deficits of five runs or more.
During a May 18 game at Tampa Bay, Jones was hit by a ground ball and suffered a severe contusion to his left leg. On May 25, he was placed on the DL after it became clear that the injury would require more time to heal. Jones returned to the Braves’ lineup on June 10.
Jones hit his 460th home run off Trevor Cahill of the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 27, 2012, putting Jones in 33rd position on the list of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters. Jones is also in 33rd position on the list of Major League Baseball career doubles leaders, passing Lou Gehrig’s record for doubles during the same series with Arizona on June 29, 2012.
On July 3, 2012, Jones was named to the NL All-Star team as a replacement for the injured Matt Kemp. That same day, he had his third career five-hit game and the first since 2002. He made it known that he wished the National League would win the All-Star game in his pregame address to his NL teammates:
We got an opportunity to [continue the NL winning streak]. And I am not going out losing my last one…— Chipper Jones