Tom Glavine

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6+13 innings and won 8–3, bringing his lifetime record to 300–197. Glavine is the 23rd pitcher to win 300 games, and the fifth left-handed pitcher to do so, joining Eddie Plank, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, and Steve Carlton. [8] (Randy Johnson won his 300th game on June 4, 2009, becoming the 24th pitcher and 6th left-hander to do so.)

On September 30, 2007, Glavine started the final game of the Mets' 2007 regular season against the Florida Marlins. The Mets, tied with the Philadelphia Phillies after having squandered a seven-game lead over the past sixteen games, needed a win to either win the division or force a playoff game with the Phillies for the division. Unfortunately, Glavine made one of the worst starts of his career, allowing seven runs while recording only one out, and the Mets were eliminated from playoff contention with an 8–1 loss. [9]

Glavine declined a one-year, $13 million contract option for the 2008 season with the Mets on October 5, 2007, ending his tenure with the team. However, he did collect a $3 million buyout when he declined the $13 million option. [10]

Return to Atlanta Braves (2008) and retirement

Glavine being introduced at Turner Field in his first game back with the Braves in 2008 Tom glavine braves.jpg
Glavine being introduced at Turner Field in his first game back with the Braves in 2008
Tom Glavine's number 47 was retired by the Atlanta Braves in 2010. BravesRetired47.png
Tom Glavine's number 47 was retired by the Atlanta Braves in 2010.

On November 18, 2007, Glavine rejoined the Braves, seemingly bringing his career full circle, with a one-year contract worth $8 million. On April 18, 2008, Glavine was placed on the disabled list (DL) for the first time in his 22-year career. [11]

On May 14, 2008, Glavine won his first game with the Atlanta Braves since September 19, 2002. This was also his 304th win, and it occurred while the Atlanta Braves were playing against the Philadelphia Phillies. Coincidentally, both his win on September 19, 2002, and May 14, 2008, were against the Phillies. [12]

On August 14, 2008, Glavine appeared in his final game. He started against the Chicago Cubs, and he gave up seven runs in only four innings. A few days later, he was placed on the disabled list because of a recurring shoulder injury.

On February 19, 2009, Glavine agreed to return to Atlanta by signing a $1 million, one-year contract that included another $3.5 million in possible bonuses based on roster time. [13] However, the Braves released Glavine on June 3, 2009, as he was completing his rehab assignment. [14] On June 20, Glavine announced he would not pitch for the rest of the season. [15] On February 11, 2010, he officially retired from the sport, having strongly hinted at that decision throughout the prior few months.

On the date of his retirement, Glavine agreed to take a job as a special assistant to Braves president John Schuerholz starting in the 2010 season. [16] [17] He was a guest analyst for some Braves games for several seasons. [18] [19] Following the death of his father in 2021, [20] Glavine announced that he would be taking a break from broadcasting during the 2022 season. [21]

The Braves retired Glavine's #47 on August 6, 2010. [22]

On July 29, 2021, Glavine was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors. [23]

Pitching style

Glavine with the Atlanta Braves in 1993. Tom Glavine Pitching 1993.jpg
Glavine with the Atlanta Braves in 1993.

Glavine, a left-hander, gradually lost velocity over the latter part of his career. Even at the end of his career, he was an effective starting pitcher in the National League due to his excellent control and deception, changing speeds, and locating pitches off the outside corner of the strike zone. His most common approach was to begin by locating his circle changeup off the outside corner, then follow with alternating fastballs and changeups to confuse the hitter. While batters frequently made contact with his pitches, the substantial movement he placed on them made drives very soft, resulting in easily fielded ground balls and fly outs. Glavine's consistency was also highlighted by his durability; beginning with his first full year, in 1988, he started at least 25 games every season and was never placed on the disabled list until his final season—at age 42. In addition to his excellent changeup and well-controlled fastball, Glavine had a plus-curve ball, a slider, and a tailing two-seam fastball. Despite being a left-handed pitcher, Glavine was often more effective against right-handed batters. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully noted that this attribute was likely due to Glavine pitching from the extreme right edge of the pitching rubber.

Like longtime Atlanta teammate Greg Maddux, Glavine was one of the better-hitting pitchers of his generation. He had a career .186 batting average—decent for a modern pitcher—and hit over .200 in nine seasons, with a career-best of .289 in 1996. He had a good eye, drawing a high number of walks (for a pitcher), which, combined with his hits, gave him a career on-base percentage of .244. Because Glavine got on base almost a quarter of the time he came at bat, opposing pitchers were never able to treat him as an automatic out in the lineup. In 2004, Glavine walked as often as he struck out (10 times each). Glavine's 201 sacrifice bunts prior to 2007 ranked second among active players at the time, only behind Omar Vizquel. Glavine won four Silver Slugger Awards, ranking him second all-time for pitchers behind Mike Hampton, while being the most among Cy Young Award Winners and Hall of Famer pitchers. [24]

Players' union representative

Starting in 1991, Tom Glavine served as the Atlanta Braves team representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association, [25] succeeding former NL Most Valuable Player and Braves icon Dale Murphy in the position. Prior to and during the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, Tom Glavine was heavily involved in negotiations between the union and team owners and was frequently interviewed and quoted in the press about the talks. [26] Ultimately, the strike caused the cancellation of the 1994 World Series and lasted 7+12 months. When play resumed in 1995, Glavine was frequently booed by Braves fans for his role in the players' union and was criticized for it in the local Atlanta press.[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Glavine signs autographs for fans in 2014 Tom Glavine signs autographs in May 2014.jpg
Glavine signs autographs for fans in 2014

Glavine and his wife Christine married in 1998 and have a blended family of five children. [27] [28] One of their sons, Peyton, was selected in the 2017 MLB draft but chose to play at Auburn University. [29] [30] He currently pitches in the Washington Nationals organization. [31] They live in Johns Creek, Georgia, and Glavine coaches his sons' hockey teams. [32] Glavine is a Roman Catholic and is a member of Catholic Athletes for Christ. [33]

Glavine is known for being humble about his accomplishments and an avid golfer, so a good friend, Jack Kennedy, gifted Glavine six dozen golf balls that display his uniform number, 47, on one side and the number of losses he had in his career on the other, 203. The gift was given around the time Glavine received the phone call that he would be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee. [34]

See also

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Tom Glavine
Tom Glavine (51008654853) (cropped).jpg
Glavine playing for the New York Mets in 2005
Born: (1966-03-25) March 25, 1966 (age 57)
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 17, 1987, for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
August 14, 2008, for the Atlanta Braves