What if Braves didn't draft Chipper?

A little revisionist history reveals Atlanta's fate with Van Poppel as No. 1 pick

Updated: August 21, 2014, 9:32 AM ET
By Dan Szymborski | ESPN Insider

Chipper Jones and Todd Van PoppelGetty ImagesChipper Jones' and Todd Van Poppel's careers went in two very different directions.

Finishing with a 63-97-1 record in 1989, the Atlanta Braves received baseball's most lucrative consolation prize: the first pick in the 1990 draft. One player the Braves were strongly considering was highly coveted high school hurler Todd Van Poppel. Indeed, Tim Kurkjian remembers what that decision was like.

However, Van Poppel informed the Braves that he would not sign with them and Atlanta instead chose to draft another high schooler -- a young shortstop named Chipper Jones. You probably know the rest of the story.

Jones wasn't in Atlanta for the franchise's initial Cinderella season in 1991. However, from 1995 until the day he retired -- the last day of the 2012 season -- he was an integral part of Atlanta's lineup.

So, how does the tale of Atlanta go without Jones?