Glavine to have number retired by Braves
Left-hander to be inducted into club's Hall of Fame on Aug. 6
ATLANTA -- Tom Glavine will forever be remembered as the man who delivered the city of Atlanta its first world championship in a major professional sport. His countless contributions to the Braves organization will be immortalized this summer when his No. 47 sits among the jersey numbers formally worn by the likes of Hank Aaron and his long-time teammate Greg Maddux.
Like they did to recognize Maddux's greatness last summer, the Braves have chosen a date this summer to provide Glavine the greatest honor the organization can bestow upon one of its legendary figures.
Glavine will be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame during an Aug. 6 luncheon, and later that evening, before the Braves host the Giants, his No. 47 will be officially retired and mounted for everybody to see whenever they visit Turner Field or any other stadium the organization calls home in the future.
"It's an honor and it's humbling that I'm going into the Braves Hall of Fame and will have my number up there with all the other great players who have played for the organization," Glavine said. "It's something you never envision while you're playing. Over time it became a reality that it would be a possibility, but until you get the notice, it's certainly not something you take for granted. It's something that certainly gives you pride."
Glavine was officially welcomed back into the Braves family in February, when it was announced that he would serve as special assistant to the president and also handle some broadcasting duties on television and the radio.
Still attempting to provide contributions to the Braves organization, Glavine is in Chattanooga this week evaluating some of the prospects playing for Double-A Mississippi.
"Tom has been, and continues to be, a very special part of the Atlanta Braves organization," Braves president John Schuerholz said. "There's no greater honor than inducting him into our Hall of Fame and making sure his Braves uniform 47 is retired and finds its rightful place alongside other great Braves Hall of Famers."
Glavine notched 244 of his 305 career victories during his 17 seasons with the Braves. A second-round selection in the 1984 First-Year Player Draft, the athletic southpaw passed on the opportunity to play in the National Hockey League and soon established himself as one of the most influential members of those clubs that provided the foundation for Atlanta to celebrate an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles.
Glavine won the first of his two National League Cy Young Awards during the worst-to-first 1991 season that saw the Braves come within one win of Atlanta's first World Series title. The city would celebrate its first world championship on Oct. 28, 1995, when Glavine limited the Indians to one hit over eight scoreless innings and received all of his necessary support courtesy of David Justice's sixth-inning home run.
Glavine's number will be the seventh retired by the organization. The others to receive this distinguished honor were Aaron (44), Eddie Mathews (41), Dale Murphy (3), Phil Niekro (35), Warren Spahn (21) and Maddux (31).
Within the next decade, Glavine looks forward to coming to the ballpark and also seeing the jersey numbers of Chipper Jones and John Smoltz sitting alongside his to further commemorate just how special the Braves were during the 1990s and the first five years of the current century.
"The Braves certainly aren't in the Yankees category yet, but we're getting a neat little collection up there," Glavine said. "For a lot of kids who came to the ballpark to see us play, it will be neat for them to bring their kids to games and point to those numbers and tell them stories about seeing Smoltzie, Maddux and Chipper Jones play. When you start talking about forever, it's a pretty neat thing."
With 305 career victories, Glavine ranks 21st on Major League Baseball's all-time list and fourth among left-handed pitchers, trailing only Spahn, Steve Carlton and Eddie Plank.
Glavine left Atlanta to begin a five-year stint with the Mets in 2003 and then rejoined the Braves in November of 2007. His return to Atlanta was marred by injuries. The durable left-hander was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career just three starts into the 2008 season and five months later he would undergo what proved to be career-ending surgical procedures on his elbow and shoulder.
The Braves will announce the location of this year's Hall of Fame luncheon at a later date. But fans can currently receive information about purchasing tickets by calling 404-614-2310.
Tickets for the Aug. 6 game against the Giants are currently available at www.braves.com/tickets and at the Braves ticket office at Turner Field.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.