Glavine joins ranks of Braves' greats
Left-hander ushered into club's HOF before number retired
ATLANTA -- Simply looking at his statistical accomplishments, it's apparent that Tom Glavine ranks as one of the most successful figures in the long and storied history of the Braves. But to truly understand what he has provided the organization and the game of baseball, one has to truly get to know this man, who has obviously not forgotten the many people who influenced his rise toward greatness."I've always said that winners make commitments and losers make excuses," Braves president John Schuerholz said. "Tom Glavine, with his preparation, his determination, his winning spirit, his intellect, his desire to win and to succeed, never has made an excuse in his life. But he always made commitments to winning." Schuerholz's message served as one of the many compliments Glavine received during a Friday afternoon luncheon that celebrated his induction into the Braves Hall of Fame. A few hours later, during a pregame ceremony at Turner Field, the accomplished left-hander enjoyed the honor of seeing his No. 47 jersey retired. "What a pleasure it was to watch you and what a pleasure it was to vicariously relive some of the past events of my life," Braves broadcaster Don Sutton said as he addressed Glavine during the luncheon. "You're my favorite player who ever came through here and thank you for letting us take a little ride on your trip." After sitting through a lengthy rain delay, Glaivne was obviously emotionally moved when the Braves staged the pregame ceremony and allowed him to see his No. 47 displayed above the 755 Club in left field. The proud father then joined his three oldest sons on the field to simultaneously throw out the first pitch.
"I'm in awe," Glavine said after his number was retired. "There aren't too many events that have left me speechless. This is one of them."
During his long journey with the Braves, Glavine notched two Cy Young Awards and earned the honor of being named the 1995 World Series MVP -- he produced the Game 6, eight-inning masterpiece that gave the city of Atlanta a chance to celebrate a World Series championship on Oct. 28, 1995. But along the way, he drew some disfavor from fans, who were unhappy with his highly visible union role during the 1994 work stoppage and his decision to accept the more attractive contract the Mets provided at the end of the 2002 season.After a five-year stint with the Mets, Glavine returned to Atlanta and endured an injury-plagued 2009 season that only set the stage for him to be unceremoniously released last year, just four days before he was scheduled to make his season debut and have the opportunity to prove he had bounced back from the surgical procedures performed on his elbow and shoulder.
|"Winners make commitments and losers make excuses. Tom Glavine, with his preparation, his determination, his winning spirit, his intellect, his desire to win and to succeed, never has made an excuse in his life. But he always made commitments to winning."|
|-- Braves president John Schuerholz|
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.