For two decades, Tom Glavine’s name has been coupled among the greats on several baseball lists. This Friday, the Atlanta Braves will honor the lefty for his two decades with the organization byinducting their former pitcher (drafted in 1984, MLB debut in 1987-2002 season, and again in 2008) into the Braves Hall of Fame and retiring his uniform number, 47.
That makes him one of only six other Braves whose uniform number has been retired. You might recognize a few of the others: Hammerin’ Hank Aaron (44), Eddie Matthews (41), Dale Murphy (3), Phil Niekro (35), Warren Spahn (21) and Greg “The Professor” Maddux (31) — all Braves Hall of Famers. The only other number the Braves has retired was 42, retired by all of Major League Baseball in honor of the great Jackie Robinson.
Other Braves Hall of Famers include Bill Bartholomay, Lew Burdette, Skip Caray, Del Crandall, Ralph Garr, Tommy Holmes, Ernie Johnson, David “Davy” Justice, Herman Long, Bill Lucas, Kid Nichols, John Sain, Paul Snyder, Ted Turner and Pete Van Wieren.
That’s quite an impressive list by anyone’s standards; and Friday Glavine will be included among their number.
And those are by no means the only lists Glavine has made over the years. He’s quite an accomplished guy. And as someone who found herself glued to the TV throwing things at bad calls and yelling right alongside Bobby Cox in defense of one of her boys, I gotta tell ya, the guy was something to behold on the pitcher’s mound.
In addition to being a two time Cy Young Award winner (1991 and 1998), Glavine helped the Braves to five World Series appearances in the 1990s, including the championship in 1995 when he was named World Series MVP following an eight inning shut-out against the Cleveland Indians.
Glavine has a career 305-203 win record, putting fourth behind lefties Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton and Eddie Plant, and 21st overall in all of MLB. Overall, he pitched 4413.1 innings in 682 gems including 25 shutouts for an overall 3.54 ERA during his 21-year pitching career in MLB. Glavine was a five-time 20-game winner, leading the league in 1991,1992 and 1998 with 20 wins; in 1993 with 22 wins; and 2000 with 21 wins.
He made the top 25 list for innings pitched every year from 1990-2002 and 2004-2007, and was a. He held the record for most games started in the NL (36) in 1993, 1996, 2002, (35) 2000 and 2001. He was third in the NL in strike outs in 1991 with 192.
Glavine is a 10-time NL All-Star: 1991-1993, 1995-1998, 2000 and 2002 with the Braves and 2004 with the New York Mets. He received the Babe Ruth Award in 1995. He also was named “Player of the Week” three times, the weeks of May 3, 1992; June 20, 1993; and April 30, 200.
Tommy and Smoltzy (John Smoltz) have always been at the top of my list of all time favorite players. They’ll always hold a special place in my heart reserved for favorite memories and those “great” heroes never to be forgotten, along with The Professor and Steve Avery of the Braves “fab five” pitchers of the mid-90s and retired Dodger Orel Hershiser.
If you didn’t follow these guys, especially Glavine, you really missed out. And seeing them hold ‘em off at The Launching Pad, or Fulton County Stadium, the Braves’ home stadium until the olympic stadium and Turner Field were built, was really a show.
Glavine is a stand up guy who always gave it his all. It was a sad day when Glavine, author of “None But the Braves: A Pitcher, A Team, A Champion,” signed as a free agent with the Mets. I moped for months. The game wasn’t nearly as fun to watch without Tommy in the rotation at Turner Field. When they announced he was coming back in 2008, I squealed like a kid on Christmas morning.
Something the casual ball fan might night know: Glavine also was a hockey hotshot too. In fact, he was drafted not only by the Atlanta Braves in the second round but also by the Los Angels Kings in the fourth round. Lucky for us, he chose baseball. Glavine has also been involved in numerous charitable causes and civic groups over the years.
Although no longer on the roaster, Glavine’s continued to be part of the organization as special assistant to team president John Schuerholtz on baseball and business projects. He also occasionally works special assignments for executive vice president/general manager Frank Wren and manager Bobby Cox. Nice to know he’s home and that they’ve got someone of such caliber working behind the scenes. And, fans who miss seeing him can still catch Tommy as an occasional guest on Braves Radio Network Pre-Game Show and as selected games on the Braves Radio Braves radio and TV broadcasts. He also joins broadcasters Chip Caray and Joe Simpson as a guest analyst for Sunday home games televised by Fox Sports South.
For more on Tom Glavine, his record, bio, awards and information about the Atlanta Braves (including Monday’s win over the Mets), visit the team website: braves.com or http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com.
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