Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Braves Release Tom Glavine

The Atlanta Braves have released pitcher Tom Glavine and his 22-year major league career may be over.

Glavine was one third of the triumvirate which also included Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. They were the foundation of the Braves starting rotation that won pennant after pennant in the 1990s and early 2000s.

He won 2 NL Cy Young Awards in 1991 and again in 1998. He won 20 or more games in a season on five occasions and was named to 10 NL All Star teams. Glavine was named the 1995 World Series MVP for the Braves lone World Series victory. He shut out the Cleveland Indians in Game 6 1-0 to clinch the Fall Classic.

Glavine signed a four-year contract with the New York Mets prior to the 2003 season. He wasn't the pitcher with the Mets that he was with the Braves. But he did attain his 300th career win in a Mets uniform in 2007. Interestingly, he was released the day Randy Johnson was scheduled to make his attempt at his 300th win (rain has postponed this game to tomorrow afternoon.)

He would return to the Braves in 2008 but was plagued by injuries. He was re-signed by the Braves for 2009 despite elbow and shoulder surgery. Glavine appeared ready to pitch when the Braves abruptly released him today. They have opted to call up top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson instead.

Glavine hasn't indicated if he will pitch again but I am sure there is a team who would like to sign a 43-year-old southpaw with 300 plus wins under his belt.

On a personal note several years ago I went speed dating. One of the women with whom I was matched went to grade school with Glavine in Billerica, Massachusetts (about 20 miles north of Boston.)

Even at that age Glavine was a star athlete in baseball and hockey. She told me that despite his athletic prowess and all the esteem that goes with it Glavine was the antithesis of a jock and was kind and considerate of people regardless of their station in life. That is fairly consistent from what I have heard from others who cite his parents as strong role models.

So not only is Glavine a first ballot Hall of Famer he is a first rate human being.

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