Tom Glavine Meets The Media At Turner Field Wednesday

Wednesday, January 08, 2014
After learning of his selection to the MLB Hall of Fame, Tom Glavine spoke to the media at Turner Field Wednesday.
After learning of his selection to the MLB Hall of Fame, Tom Glavine spoke to the media at Turner Field Wednesday.
- photo by Jeff Slate

ATLANTA -- As Tom Glavine went about his business at his home in suburban Atlanta on Wednesday morning, he felt the same kind of tension and nervousness that had been present before each of the eight World Series starts he made during his pitching career for the Braves.

But instead of preparing himself to navigate through a formidable lineup, he was left to simply battle the nerves and anticipation that had built as he eagerly awaited the phone call that eventually came from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

With his wife, Christine, and his children surrounding him, Glavine displayed his usual stoic demeanor as he received the message that every baseball player has dreamed of receiving. But when the call was complete, the legendary left-hander expressed the excitement and jubilation expected from a player who had just learned that he will forever be recognized as a Hall of Famer.

Glavine also learned on Wednesday that he and his longtime friend and rotation-mate Greg Maddux will be joining him and Frank Thomas on July 27 as first-ballot inductees. Adding to the splendor of the event will be the fact that Glavine and Maddux will share the stage that day with their beloved skipper, Bobby Cox, who was elected to the 2014 Hall of Fame class in December by the Expansion Era Committee.

As Glavine drove to Turner Field for a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, he received a phone call from Tony DeMacio, the Braves' director of scouting, who as an area scout in 1984 convinced the Braves to take Glavine in the second round of the First-Year Player Draft.

Fortified by the work ethic instilled in him by his blue-collar father and enriched by the stubborn demeanor of his mother, Glavine spent 22 Major League seasons exhibiting discipline, determination and an unwillingness to waver in the face of adversity.

After he lost 17 games during his first full Major League season (1988), he made the necessary adjustments that led to 14 victories a year later. The struggles he endured while going 10-12 with a 4.28 ERA in 1990 led to trade speculation, rumors that were quickly squelched by a phone call from Cox, who at the time served as Atlanta's general manager.

Strengthened by the confidence Cox expressed in him, Glavine returned the next season to win the first of his two Cy Young Awards and help the Braves capture the first of their record 14 consecutive division titles.

The desire to succeed led to five 20-win seasons, the two Cy Young Awards (1991 and '98) and the fourth-most wins (305) by any left-handed pitcher in Major League history. He joined the 300-wins club on Aug. 5, 2007, while in the middle of a five-season stint with the Mets, the only other organization for which he played before pitching his final career game with the Braves one year later.

Throughout the years they spent together in Atlanta, Glavine, Maddux and John Smoltz -- who will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year -- enjoyed a friendly rivalry that was void of any hint of jealousy. If one of them tossed seven scoreless innings one day, the next attempted to complete eight scoreless the next.

As he soaked in the excitement on Wednesday afternoon, Glavine said that he believes the presence of Maddux and Smoltz had a significant impact on his career.

"People always talk about that competition that went on within the pitching staff, and we did, we had it in a lot of different things. It was always in a fun way and in a respectful way. But it was always in a way [where] we honestly drove each other to be better."

Next year's ballot will include another trio of transcendent pitchers who achieved greatness over two decades of play in the Majors -- Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and former Brave John Smoltz. 

--- Source: MLB.com





 


Men's 3.5 Tennis Team Win State

The "Chattanooga" men's 3.5 tennis team posted a 4-0 record to win the USTA Tennessee state team title this past weekend and will compete in the Southern Sectional August  22-24 in Asheville,N.C. Coached by Greg Hadden, the champions defeated previously unbeaten Memphis Worth, 3-2, for the title with the final match decided by a third set, 10-point tie-breaker. ... (click for more)

South Pittsburg, Union City Top 1A Coaches' Poll

The same two teams that fought to the final buzzer in last year’s Class 1A BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville sit atop this year’s preseason coaches’ poll, conducted by Tennessee high school football guru Murphy Fair. Union City’s Golden Tornadoes garnered the most first-place votes but when all the numbers were counted, South Pittsburg had the same number of points. Here’s ... (click for more)

Erlanger Health System Projecting $10.8 Million Profit - With Help From $19 Million In Federal Funds

Erlanger Health System is projecting a $10.8 million profit for the upcoming fiscal year - with the help of $19 million in federal funds from a pool for public hospitals. The $19 million received in time for the current budget helped avoid a sizable deficit. The hospital is hoping the federal funds will be coming on an annual basis. At the start of the last fiscal year, ... (click for more)

History Center Gets $400,000 Grant From National Endowment For The Arts

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded grants totaling more than $800,000 to three Tennessee projects that aim to display and preserve historical materials. Winning grants Monday included the Chattanooga History Center, which will get $400,000 to install a permanent, multimedia exhibit on the history of Chattanooga. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville will ... (click for more)

Vote To Retain Supreme Court Justices

On Aug. 7 or by voting early by Aug. 2, voters will choose to "retain" or "replace" Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade. If retained, they will serve for another eight years.  The retention election is a way to retain judges who make decisions based on the law and facts -or remove judges who are incompetent. Tennessee's Judicial Performance ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Judge Philyaw Is The Best

Tomorrow morning there will be a special gathering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court that will prove to our community that we have perhaps the most innovative juvenile judge in America. Shortly after Rob Philyaw was hand-picked by our Hamilton County Commissioners to fill the remainder of Suzanne Bailey’s term 15 months ago, he found that truancy was a big problem in our schools. ... (click for more)