Last week, the Atlanta Braves unceremoniously cut ties with 300 game winner Tom Glavine after 16 successful years because, from the Atlanta Braves management’s point-of-view, Tom Glavine no longer has big league talent. Tom Glavine was not given any special treatment, considering his past accomplishments with the Atlanta Braves and being instrumental in helping to turn around, at the time, one of the most losingest franchises in sports history up until the point of Tom Glavine’s big league arrival in 1987.
Despite the disrespectful dismissal, Tom Glavine’s Hall-of-Fame career in a Atlanta Braves Uniform can not be overlooked with too many special accomplishments to name. So in regards to Glavine’s 16 seasons pitching for the Atlanta Braves, here is a top ten list of Tom Glavine’s most memorable highlights and accomplishments in an Atlanta Braves uniform.
10. Tom Glavine Wins First Game – On August, 22, 1987, at the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, Tom Glavine pitches seven and one third innings, allows 3 earned runs, and issues 2 walks to give the Atlanta Braves a 10-3 over the Pittsburgh Pirates. This was Tom Glavine’s second career start in front of a smallish crowd. The Atlanta Braves were known for having losing teams and, because of this, did not attract many fans during this time. Tom Glavine was a much heralded pitching prospect at the time in the Atlanta Braves farm system, along with John Smoltz, who was acquired later that year from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for pitcher Doyle Alexander. In this game, batting leadoff for the Pirates was a young left fielder named Barry Bonds.
9. Tom Glavine hits First Home Run – On August 10, 1995, the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds in a 2-1 game at Riverfront Stadium. Tom Glavine threw eight solid innings and did not allow an earned run against the Cincinnati Reds’ ace John Smiley. Tom Glavine actually kept the Atlanta Braves in a tight game with Glavine’s first major league career home run. Tom Glavine did not receive a decision in this game with the Atlanta Braves pulling out the win in the ninth inning.
8. Tom Glavine shows off his bat in Game 7 of NLCS – In the Game 7 clincher of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Tom Glavine breaks open the game in the first inning with a 2 out, 3 run triple, to cap a 6 run inning and lead the Atlanta Braves to 15-0 win over the Cardinals. The Atlanta Braves were actually down in this series 3-1, with the Cardinals killing the Atlanta Braves on the basepads with speed. But the Atlanta Braves would go on to win three straight games ending with Glavine winning Game 7. Tom Glavine would pitch a solid game of 7 innings, giving up 3 hits, 0 earned runs, and 4 strikeouts.
7. Tom Glavine wins second Cy Young Award – The 1998 season was capped off with Tom Glavine winning his second Cy Young Award by outpitching the field, which includes teammates Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, who were both highly ranked in pitching categories this season. Tom Glavine wins 20 games this season, along with posting 2.47 ERA, a career high for Glavine. Tom Glavine also wins the Silver Slugger award this season, the fourth of Glavine’s career and ties the club record
6. Tom Glavine wins 20 games in three consecutive years – Tom Glavine lives up to the potential that Atlanta Braves scouts saw in him early in his career by posting three consecutive 20 game winning seasons from 1991 through 1993 baseball seasons. Tom Glavine would also named to the All Star team during two of these seasons and would start both times in the All Star game.
5. Tom Glavine outduels Jack Morris in 1992 World Series – In the Atlanta Braves second consecutive World Series appearance against the Toronto Blue Jays, Tom Glavine outpitches Blue Jays’ Ace, Jack Morris, by throwing a complete game and leading the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 Game 1 win in the World Series. Tom Glavine was dominant, allowing only 4 hits and 1 earned run to give the Atlanta Braves a 1-0 series lead against the Blue Jays. However, the Toronto Blue Jays would go on to win the World Series.
4. Tom Glavine starts first All Star Game in 1991 – Tom Glavine would make the first of ten appearances and start at Major League Baseball’s 62nd All Star Game, at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada. In just the second time the All Star game is played outside the United States, Tom Glavine, the Atlanta Braves only nominee this year, would pitch two scoreless innings against the American League all stars. Glavine’s appearance put the Atlanta Braves on the map and set up one of the most contested division battles, in Major League Baseball history, with the Los Angelos Dodgers in the second half of the 1991 season.
3. Tom Glavine outduels Randy Johnson – On August 8, 2002, Tom Glavine outpitches the Arizona Diamondback’s Ace and intimidating flame thrower, Randy Johnson, in a Atlanta Braves 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamonds. The Diamondbacks were reigning World Series champions led by Johnson leading the league in strikeouts. Previewing this game, most experts had Randy Johnson winning this battle hands down with his 100 mph fastball against Tom Glavine’s crafty change-up throwing style. Tom Glavine proved experts wrong, by pitching eight innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run. Glavine would also strikeout four batters this game.
2. Tom Glavine wins first Cy Young Award – The 1991 Atlanta Braves season remains the most exciting time in Atlanta Braves history. Being the worst team in Major League Baseball during the previous season, the Atlanta Braves surpassed all expectations by having a worst-to-first season, capped by one of the most exciting World Series in history against the Minnosota Twins. Although the Twins, would go on to win this series, the season marked a new era of dominant play from the Atlanta Braves. Tom Glavine was, by far, the best pitcher on the team and baseball, posting the first of three consecutive 20 game winning seasons. Glavine led the Majors with nine complete games and was third in ERA, with 2.55 ERA. Glavine was also second in the league in innings pitched, with over 246 innings.
1. Tom Glavine wins World Series MVP – This is easily Tom Glavine’s most remembered accomplishment, pitching a dominant clinching game performance against the Cleveland Indians and giving the city of the Atlanta, it’s first ever professional sports championship. Glavine shut down a very potent Cleveland Indians offense, that featured powerhouse hitters, Manny Ramirez, John Thome, Albert Belle, and Kenny Lofton. Glavine threw eight scoreless innings, allowing one hit and no runs, and striking out eight batters. Glavine was simply untouchable that night, befuddling hitters with his change-up and fastball, that would only average 88 mph. David Justice would be responsible for the games only run, with a home run. David Justice did receive boos early in the game because of his quote in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that day. When asked what would happen if the Atlanta Braves did not win this game, because of past post season disappointments, Justice replied they (Atlanta fans)”would burn our houses down.” Glavine would receive MVP for the series for winning two games and posting a 1.29 ERA against the Indians.