Here’s to you, Tommy G.
In many ways, Tom Glavine was the signature Brave of the glorious ’90s. He was here for the bad years of 1987 – ’90. His breakout season was 1991, same as the team. His stoicism characterized the club’s demeanor. Say what you will about his signing with the Mets, but he never, ever embarrassed the Braves organization.
He’s articulate, the consummate thinking man’s pitcher. If not for Maddux, he’d be the greatest thinking man’s pitcher in Atlanta history. He fielded his position well, could bunt and hit a little.
His jersey retirement and induction into the team Hall of Fame are, obviously, richly deserved. I want like hell to be on Hank Aaron Drive tonight, but alas, our 7-month-old will be christened this Sunday, much family is in town and so I have to be doing other things. Damn timing.
I do hope the park is packed. It will be a shame if it’s not. I don’t have time for a lenghty tribute just now, but a couple quick notes on Tommy G. In 1991, the greatest, most exhilirating year in Atlanta sports history by far, Tommy pitched six innings or more in 30 of 34 starts, with 9 complete games. He AVERAGED 7-plus innings, racking up 246-2/3, with a 1.095 WHIP, 2.55 ERA and, of course, 20 wins and the first of two Cy Youngs. The Braves as a team have two CGs this year.
So Tommy starred in the city’s most memorable sports season. And he was the protagonist in the signature game in Atlanta sports history. In Game 6 of the ’95 World Series, Tommy allowed one runner into scoring position in 8 innings, and that on a stolen base by Lofton. That against a team with six .300 hitters, a .291 team batting average, a team that scored 5.8 runs a game during the regular season. By comparison, this year’s Yankees are averaging 5.3 runs a game.
As a final fun fact, here are some of the players drafted before Glavine (2nd round) in 1984: Shawn Abner, Drew Hall, Jay Bell, Drew Denson — the Braves’ first-round pick, Alan Cockrell, Shane Mack, Oddibe McDowell!, John Hoover, Terry Mulholland, John Kinzer and Luis de los Santos.