Tom Glavine

Thomas Michael Glavine (born March 25, 1966) is an American retired professional baseball player. A pitcher, Glavine played in Major League Baseball for the Atlanta Braves (1987–2002, 2008), and New York Mets (2003–2007). He was the MVP of the 1995 World Series as the Braves beat the Cleveland Indians.

With 164 victories during the 1990s, Glavine earned the second highest number of wins as a pitcher in the National League, second only to teammate Greg Maddux's 176. He was a five-time 20-game winner and two-time Cy Young Award winner, and one of only 24 pitchers (and just 6 left-handers) in major league history to earn 300 career wins.

On January 8, 2014, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility receiving 91.9% of the votes cast.[1]

Glavine also played ice hockey alongside baseball. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, after scoring 47 goals and 47 assists in 23 high school games.

Tom Glavine
Tom Glavine Pitching 1993
Glavine with the Atlanta Braves
Pitcher
Born: March 25, 1966 (age 53)
Concord, Massachusetts
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 17, 1987, for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
August 14, 2008, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record305–203
Earned run average3.54
Strikeouts2,607
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2014
Vote91.9% (first ballot)

Early years

Glavine was born in Concord, Massachusetts and raised in Billerica, Massachusetts. Glavine attended Billerica Memorial High School, where he was an excellent student and a letterman in ice hockey as well as baseball. He was a four-year member of the honor roll and the National Honor Society. In hockey, as a senior, he was named the Merrimack Valley's Most Valuable Player. In baseball, he led his team to the Division I North Title and the Eastern Massachusetts Championship as a senior. Glavine graduated from high school in 1984 with honors. He was elected to the Billerica Memorial/Howe High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.

Professional career

Glavine was drafted by both the Los Angeles Kings in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft (in the 4th round, 69th overall[2]—two rounds ahead of future National Hockey League star Brett Hull and five rounds ahead of Luc Robitaille, both 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees), and the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball organization in the 2nd round of the 1984 amateur baseball draft. Glavine elected to play baseball and made his major league debut on August 17, 1987.

Atlanta Braves (1987–2002)

Tom Glavine 1998
Glavine delivers a pitch in spring training, 1998

Glavine had mixed results during his first several years in the majors, compiling a 33–43 record from 1987 to 1990, including a 17-loss performance in 1988.[3]

His fortunes turned around in 1991, when he won 20 games and posted a 2.55 earned run average. It was his first of three consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins, and saw him earn his first National League Cy Young Award.[4] Glavine was the ace of the 1991 Braves' starting rotation that also included Steve Avery, Charlie Leibrandt, and another future NL Cy Young Award winner and Hall of Fame inductee, John Smoltz. His season helped ensure a dramatic reversal in the Braves' competitive fortunes as they won the National League pennant and earned a trip to the World Series, though they lost to the Minnesota Twins in seven games. In an era of the diminishing 20-game winner (there were none in the majors in 2006 and 2009), Glavine became the last major league pitcher to win 20 games in three consecutive years (1991–1993).

Atlanta, long thought of as a perennial cellar dweller, was lifted in the 1990s into one of the most successful franchises in the game on the strength of its stellar pitching staff and solid hitting. After the Braves acquired Greg Maddux from the Chicago Cubs in 1993, Glavine, Maddux, and Smoltz formed one of the best pitching rotations in baseball history. Among them, they won seven Cy Young Awards during the period of 1991 to 1998. Glavine won his second Cy Young Award in 1998, going 20–6 with a 2.47 ERA. Years later, after Glavine joined the Mets and Maddux played for the San Diego Padres, the three (along with Smoltz who still pitched for Atlanta) all recorded wins on the same day, June 27, 2007.

The Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians in 6 games in the 1995 World Series, and Glavine was named the Series MVP. He won two games during that series: Game 2 and Game 6. In Game 6, he pitched eight innings of one-hit shutout baseball.

In addition to the championship won with the Braves in 1995, he also went to four other World Series with the team (in 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1999) in which the team lost to the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, and New York Yankees twice, respectively.[5]

New York Mets (2003–2007)

In 2003, Glavine left Atlanta to play for the rival New York Mets, signing a four-year, $42.5 million deal. Glavine's performance had slumped in the second half of 2002 and he was ineffective in his two postseason starts, so Atlanta refused to guarantee a third year on his contract.

Glavine's first year as a Met was poor. For the first time since 1988, he failed to win 10 games, also posting his first losing record in that span, 9–14. He also allowed his first career grand slam, hit by José Vidro of the Expos on September 19. Glavine did get to enjoy a personal highlight at the end of the season, however, when the Mets called up his brother Mike to join the team.

Glavine began 2004 well, highlighted by a May 23 one-hit shutout of the Colorado Rockies[6] and selection to the National League All-Star team.[7] However, he struggled again during a second half marred by losing front teeth in a car accident while riding in a taxicab.[8] He went on to post a slightly better record, though still a losing one, going 11–14.[9]

He started off 2005 slowly, but rebounded after advice from pitching coach Rick Peterson, who encouraged Glavine to begin pitching inside more often (including a change up in) and incorporate a curveball in his repertoire. Glavine's turnaround helped him earn National League Pitcher of the Month in September. He finished the season with a 13–13 record and a respectable 3.53 ERA.

The Mets' faith in Glavine was rewarded when he returned to his old form during the 2006 season. He finished one victory shy of the NL lead in wins and was selected to the All-Star team. That season Tom Glavine became the first Mets left-hander in nearly 30 years to start at least thirty games in four consecutive seasons. Glavine and the Mets got a scare in August 2006. His pitching shoulder was tested for a blood clot because he was suffering from coldness in his left ring finger. This was originally thought to be a symptom of Raynaud's syndrome, which had been diagnosed in 1990. According to the pitcher, "Doctors... picked something up when they did the ultrasound." The results of that new test showed the problem could be treated with medicine, and Glavine resumed pitching on September 1, against the Houston Astros.

Glavine finished the 2006 season with a fine 15–7 record and a 3.82 ERA, as the Mets won the National League Eastern Division, allowing him to make his first playoff appearance since leaving the Braves. He started Game 2 of the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching six shutout innings and surrendering only four hits to pick up the win, as the Mets went on to sweep the series from the Dodgers. He then started Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching seven shutout innings to pick up the win, helped by Carlos Beltrán's two-run home run. Glavine's postseason scoreless innings streak ended in his next start. He suffered the loss in Game 5 while the Mets went on to drop the series to the Cardinals in seven games.

Glavine re-signed with the Mets for the 2007 season, needing only 10 wins to reach 300 wins for his career. He started his fourth Opening Day game as a Met in the 2007 season.[10]

On August 5, 2007, Glavine won his 300th game, against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. In the game, he also was 1 for 2 with a run batted in and a walk.[11] He pitched 6⅓ innings and won 8–3, bringing his lifetime record to 300–197. Glavine is the 23rd pitcher to win 300 games, and the fifth left-handed pitcher to do so, joining Eddie Plank, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, and Steve Carlton.[12] (Randy Johnson won his 300th game on June 4, 2009, becoming the 24th pitcher and 6th left-hander to do so).

On September 30, 2007, Glavine started the final game of the Mets' 2007 regular season against the Florida Marlins. The Mets, tied with the Philadelphia Phillies, needed a win to either win the division or force a playoff game with the Phillies for the division. Unfortunately, Glavine made one of the worst starts of his career, allowing seven runs while recording only one out, with the Mets being eliminated from playoff contention with an 8–1 loss.[13]

Glavine declined a one-year, $13 million contract option for the 2008 season with the Mets on October 5, 2007, ending his time as a New York Met. However, he did collect a $3 million buyout when he declined the $13 million option.[14]

Return to Atlanta Braves (2008)

Tom glavine braves
Glavine being introduced at Turner Field in his first game back with the Braves in 2008
BravesRetired47
Tom Glavine's number 47 was retired by the Atlanta Braves in 2010.

On November 18, 2007, Glavine rejoined the Braves, seemingly bringing his career full circle, with a 1-year contract worth $8 million. On April 18, 2008, Glavine was placed on the disabled list (DL) for the first time in his 22-year career.[15]

On May 14, 2008, Glavine won his first game with the Atlanta Braves since September 19, 2002. This was also his 304th win, and it occurred while the Atlanta Braves were playing against the Philadelphia Phillies. Coincidentally, both his win on September 19, 2002 and May 14, 2008, were against the Phillies.[16]

On August 14, 2008, Glavine appeared in his final game. He started against the Chicago Cubs, and he gave up 7 runs in only 4 innings. A few days later, he was placed on the disabled list because of a recurring shoulder injury.

On February 19, 2009, Glavine agreed to return to Atlanta by signing a $1 million, one-year contract that included another $3.5 million in possible bonuses based on roster time.[17] However, the Braves released Glavine on June 3, 2009, as he was completing his rehab assignment.[18] On June 20, Glavine announced he wouldn't pitch for the rest of the season.[19] On February 11, 2010, he officially retired from the sport, having strongly hinted at that decision throughout the past few months.

On the date of his retirement, Glavine agreed to take a job as a special assistant to Braves president John Schuerholz starting in the 2010 season.[20][21] He would also serve as a guest analyst for some Braves games on SportSouth and Fox Sports South.[22]

The Braves retired Glavine's # 47 on August 6, 2010.[23]

Pitching style

Glavine, a left-hander, gradually lost velocity over the latter part of his career. Even at the end of his career, he was an effective starting pitcher in the National League due to his excellent control and deception, switching speeds, and locating pitches off the outside corner of the strike zone. His most common approach was to begin by locating his circle changeup off the outside corner, then follow with alternating fastballs and changeups to confuse the hitter. While batters frequently made contact with his pitches, the substantial movement he placed on them made drives very soft, resulting in easily fielded ground balls and fly outs. Glavine's consistency was also highlighted by his durability; since his first full year in 1988, he started at least 25 games every year and was never placed on the disabled list until his final season—at age 42. In addition to his excellent changeup and well-controlled fastball, Glavine had a plus-curve ball, a slider, and a tailing two-seam fastball. Despite being a left-handed pitcher, Glavine was often more effective against right-handed batters. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully noted that this attribute was likely due to Glavine pitching from the extreme right edge of the pitching rubber.

Like longtime Atlanta teammate Greg Maddux, Glavine was one of the better-hitting pitchers of his generation. He had a career .186 batting average—decent for a modern pitcher—and hit over .200 in nine seasons, with a career best of .289 in 1996. He had a good eye, drawing a high number of walks (for a pitcher), which combined with his hits have given him a career on-base percentage of .244. Because Glavine got on base almost a quarter of the time he came at bat, opposing pitchers were never able to treat him as an automatic out in the lineup. In 2004, Glavine walked as often as he struck out (10 times each). Glavine's 201 sacrifice bunts prior to 2007 ranked second among active players at the time, only behind Omar Vizquel. Glavine won four Silver Slugger Awards, ranking him second all-time for pitchers behind Mike Hampton, while being the most among Cy Young Award Winners and Hall of Famer pitchers.[24]

Players' union representative

Starting in 1991, Tom Glavine served as the Atlanta Braves team representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association,[25] succeeding former NL Most Valuable Player and Braves icon Dale Murphy in the position. Prior to and during the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, Tom Glavine was heavily involved in negotiations between the union and team owners and was frequently interviewed and quoted in the press about the talks.[26] Ultimately, the strike caused the cancellation of the 1994 World Series and lasted 7½ months. When play resumed in 1995, Glavine was frequently booed by Braves fans for his role in the players' union and was criticized for it in the local Atlanta press.

Personal life

Tom Glavine signs autographs in May 2014
Glavine signs autographs for fans in 2014

In 2005, along with several Mets teammates, Glavine served as a spokesman for Volunteers of America's "Operation Backpack" program. The program helped equip over 7,000 homeless school children with backpacks full of necessary school supplies. An additional 3,000 back packs were sent to Houston to help Katrina victims. In 2007, Glavine supported the Rally Foundation through the Money in the Mitt 300 Challenge to support childhood cancer care by selling Vineyard Vines Rally Ties to commemorate his historic 300th win in an effort to raise $300,000. 300 signed ties were to be sold for $1,000 each.

In 2008, Glavine released a charity wine called "Cabernet Glavingnon" to raise funds for CURE Childhood Cancer, an organization founded to help conquer childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since 1992, Glavine has partnered with the Georgia Transplant Foundation to host the annual "Spring training" event, raising more than 4.3 million dollars for transplant candidates, recipients, and their families, in the state of Georgia

In 2011, Glavine became a color commentator for Atlanta Braves baseball games.

Glavine and his wife Christine have five children.[27] One of their sons, Peyton, was selected in the 2017 MLB draft and is committed to attend Auburn University on a baseball scholarship.[28] They live in Johns Creek, Georgia, and Glavine coaches his sons' baseball and hockey teams. Glavine is a Roman Catholic and has done a recorded piece for Catholic Athletes for Christ.

Glavine is known for being humble about his accomplishments and an avid golfer, so a good friend, Jack Kennedy, gifted Glavine six dozen golf balls that display his uniform number, 47, on one side and the number of losses he had in his career on the other, 203. The gift was given around the time Glavine received the phone call that he would be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee.[29]

Accomplishments

  • National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee (2014 – first year of eligibility)
  • 23rd player to win 300 career games
  • 10-time All-Star (1991–93, 1996–98, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006)
  • 2-time National League Cy Young Award winner (1991, 1998)
  • Finished 2nd in National League Cy Young Award voting (1992, 2000)
  • Finished 3rd in National League Cy Young Award voting (1993, 1995)
  • Finished 10th in National League MVP voting (1992)
  • Finished 11th in National League MVP voting (1991)
  • Finished 14th in National League MVP voting (2000)
  • Finished 21st in National League MVP voting (1998)
  • Finished 24th in National League MVP voting (1993)
  • World Series MVP Award (1995)
  • 5-time National League leader in wins (1991–93, 1998, 2000)
  • 4-time Silver Slugger winner (1991, 1995–96, 1998)
  • Only pitcher to throw two shutouts at Coors Field, doing so while with Atlanta.
  • Holds the major league record for career starts without making an appearance in relief (682). Also started 35 post-season games with no relief appearances.

See also

References

  1. ^ Bloom, Barry M. (January 8, 2014). "Maddux, Glavine, Thomas elected to Hall of Fame". MLB.com. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  2. ^ https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/reminder-tom-glavine-used-to-be-a-hockey-player-photo/
  3. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/glavito02.shtml
  4. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/glavito02.shtml
  5. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/glavito02.shtml
  6. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/404671-where-does-jonathon-nieses-one-hitter-rank-in-new-york-mets-history
  7. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/05/sports/baseball-piazza-and-clemens-on-same-side-as-all-stars.html?mcubz=3&mcubz=3
  8. ^ http://www.espn.com/mlb/news/story?id=1857827
  9. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/glavito02.shtml
  10. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/glavito02.shtml
  11. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN200708050.shtml
  12. ^ http://baseballhall.org/discover/inside-pitch/tom-glavine-joins-300-win-club
  13. ^ Box Score Florida @ New York Mets September 30, 2007 Retrieved July 18, 2010
  14. ^ "Mets buyout Tom Glavine for $3 million". New York. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007.
  15. ^ Bowman, Mark. "Glavine's agent says deal with Braves close". Retrieved November 18, 2007.
  16. ^ Maaddi, Rob. "Glavine gets first win for Braves since 2002". Archived from the original on May 22, 2008.
  17. ^ Glavine returning to Braves. Retrieved on February 20, 2009.
  18. ^ "Agent: Glavine released by Braves". Sports.espn.go.com. June 5, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  19. ^ "Glavine will evaluate future after season". Sports.espn.go.com. June 20, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  20. ^ http://m.mlb.com/news/article/8061414
  21. ^ https://mobile.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/sports/baseball/12sportsbriefs-glavine.html?referer=https://www.google.com/
  22. ^ http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/team/broadcasters.jsp?c_id=atl#glavine
  23. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/05/11/braves-retire-tom-glavines.html
  24. ^ "Tom Glavine Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  25. ^ https://mobile.nytimes.com/2003/04/22/sports/baseball-new-drug-tests-in-baseball-stir-debate-among-players.html
  26. ^ http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/page/tomglavine/hall-fame-tribute
  27. ^ http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_24849411/tom-glavine-family-more-important-than-fame
  28. ^ http://usatodayhss.com/2017/peyton-glavine-son-of-hall-of-famer-tom-glavine-drafted-by-angels-in-37th-round
  29. ^ Abramowitz, Michael R. (July 30, 2014). "Tom Glavine gets special golf balls for Hall of Fame induction". PGA.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.

External links

1991 Atlanta Braves season

The 1991 Atlanta Braves season was the 26th in Atlanta and the 121st overall. They became the first team in the National League to go from last place one year to first place the next. This feat was also accomplished by the 1991 Minnesota Twins. The last Major League Baseball team to accomplish this was the 1890 Louisville Colonels of the American Association.

The Braves had a last place finish in 1990 but managed to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West clinching the division on the next to the last day of the regular season.

1992 Atlanta Braves season

The 1992 Atlanta Braves season was the 27th in Atlanta and the 122nd overall. It involved the Braves finishing first in the National League West with a record of 98 wins and 64 losses, clinching their second straight division title.

In the National League Championship Series, the Braves defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games. In the World Series, Atlanta faced the Toronto Blue Jays, who were making their first appearance in the World Series. However, the Blue Jays won in six games, becoming the first non-U.S.-based team to win a World Series.

1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 63rd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 14, 1992, at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, the home of the San Diego Padres of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 13–6.

1995 Major League Baseball season

The 1995 Major League Baseball season was the first season to be played under the expanded postseason format, as the League Division Series (LDS) was played in both the American and National leagues for the first time. However, due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike which carried into the 1995 season, a shortened 144-game schedule commenced on April 25, when the Florida Marlins played host to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Atlanta Braves became the first franchise to win World Series championships for three different cities. Along with their 1995 title, the Braves won in 1914 as the Boston Braves, and in 1957 as the Milwaukee Braves.

1995 World Series

The 1995 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1995 season. The 91st edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the National League (NL) champion Atlanta Braves and the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians. The Braves won in six games to capture their third World Series championship in franchise history (along with 1914 in Boston and 1957 in Milwaukee), making them the first team to win three crowns in three different cities. This was also Cleveland's first Series appearance in 41 years and marked the resumption of the Fall Classic after the previous year's Series was canceled due to a players' strike.

The Series was also remarkable in that five of the six games were won by one run, including the clinching sixth game, a 1-0 combined one-hitter by Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers.

1997 National League Championship Series

The 1997 National League Championship Series (NLCS) pitted the Florida Marlins against the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins won the series, 4–2, and went on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series.

1998 Atlanta Braves season

The 1998 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 33rd season in Atlanta and 128th overall. They went on to win their seventh consecutive division title, taking the National League East title by 18 games over the second place New York Mets.

The team featured six all stars: shortstop Walt Weiss and third baseman Chipper Jones were voted as starters, while first baseman Andrés Galarraga, catcher Javy López, and pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were selected as reserves. Jones and Lopez each hit over 30 home runs as Galaragga (acquired from Colorado) led the club in home runs and RBI. Galaragga finished as an MVP candidate.

The 1998 Braves beat the Chicago Cubs three games to none in the National League Division Series. In the next round Atlanta then lost to the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series four games to two. Despite winning two games after losing the first three, Atlanta's comeback bid came short by being eliminated in game 6. San Diego's winning over Atlanta was seen as one of the biggest upsets in postseason history.

This team has earned a few historic accolades. ESPN writer David Schoenfield lists them as one of the top teams in MLB history to not win a World SeriesESPN columnist Jeff Merron also writes that the pitching staff of Maddux, Glavine, John Smoltz, Denny Neagle, and Kevin Millwood was the greatest of all time. The quintet posted a cumulative 2.97 ERA and amassed 88 wins (almost 18 wins per starter), equaling the win total of the 2nd place Mets. The 1998 Braves are the only team in MLB history to have five pitchers each strike out 150 batters in the same season. Glavine, the lone 20 game winner in the National League for that year, won the Cy Young Award.

1998 National League Championship Series

The 1998 National League Championship Series (NLCS), to determine the champion of Major League Baseball's National League, was played from October 7 to 14 between the East Division champion Atlanta Braves and the West Division champion San Diego Padres.

The Braves entered the playoffs for the seventh straight season with a franchise-record 106 regular season wins, an offense that hit 215 home runs, and a pitching staff made up of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Denny Neagle, and Kevin Millwood to the playoffs. However, they also carried the baggage of their embarrassing NLCS loss to the Florida Marlins the previous season. In the NLDS, the Braves swept Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs.

After a 76–86 season in 1997, San Diego stormed out and took control of their division, finishing with a 98–64 record, their best in team history. The offense was led by the 50 home run club's newest member, Greg Vaughn, and by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The San Diego rotation was anchored by eighteen-game winner Kevin Brown, who helped Florida defeat Atlanta in the 1997 NLCS, along with All-Star Andy Ashby and the series MVP Sterling Hitchcock. Closer Trevor Hoffman saved an astounding 53 games in the regular season. The Padres defeated the favored Houston Astros in four games in the NLDS.

It was the seventh-consecutive NLCS appearance for the Braves and they would be heavily favored against the Padres.

The Padres would go on to the lose in a sweep to the New York Yankees in the World Series in four games.

2001 Atlanta Braves season

The 2001 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 36th season in Atlanta and 131st overall. The Braves won their tenth consecutive division title. The season saw the team finish first in the NL East Division with an 88-74 record – the worst among playoff teams in 2001, and also the worst record for the Braves since 1990 (meaning the worst record through their run of 14 consecutive division titles starting in 1991. Not counting the strike-shortened 1994 season). Atlanta finished the season with just a 2 game division lead over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Braves swept the favored Houston Astros in the NLDS before losing to the eventual World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS 4-1, in which Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling notably dominated Atlanta's offense.

2002 Atlanta Braves season

The 2002 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 37th season in Atlanta and 132nd overall. The Braves won their 11th consecutive division title, finishing 19 games ahead of the second-place Montreal Expos. The Braves lost the 2002 Divisional Series to the eventual NL Champion San Francisco Giants, 3 games to 2.

2002 marked the final year that pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz played on the same team ending the reign of what has been considered by many the greatest pitching trio of all-time. All three would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame a decade later. Smoltz set the Braves' single season record for saves (55). Chipper Jones moved to the outfield in left field to allow for Vinny Castilla to be signed and added to the lineup at third base. Julio Franco became a regular player in the second stint of his Major League career and Gary Sheffield was acquired to the Braves in 2002, playing at right field.

300 win club

In Major League Baseball, the 300 win club is the group of pitchers who have won 300 or more games. Twenty-four pitchers have reached this milestone. The New York Gothams/Giants/San Francisco Giants are the only franchise to see three players reach the milestone while on their roster: those players are Mickey Welch, Christy Mathewson, and Randy Johnson. Early in the history of professional baseball, many of the rules favored the pitcher over the batter; the distance pitchers threw to home plate was shorter than today, and pitchers were able to use foreign substances to alter the direction of the ball. The first player to win 300 games was Pud Galvin in 1888. Seven pitchers recorded all or the majority of their career wins in the 19th century: Galvin, Cy Young, Kid Nichols, Tim Keefe, John Clarkson, Charley Radbourn, and Mickey Welch. Four more pitchers joined the club in the first quarter of the 20th century: Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Eddie Plank, and Grover Cleveland Alexander. Young is the all-time leader in wins with 511, a mark that is considered unbreakable. If a modern-day pitcher won 20 games per season for 25 seasons, he would still be 11 games short of Young's mark.

Only three pitchers, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, and Early Wynn, joined the 300 win club between 1924 and 1982, which may be explained by a number of factors: the abolition of the spitball, World War II military service, such as Bob Feller's, and the growing importance of the home run in the game. As the home run became commonplace, the physical and mental demands on pitchers dramatically increased, which led to the use of a four-man starting rotation. Between 1982 and 1990, the 300 win club gained six members: Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton and Tom Seaver. These pitchers benefited from the increased use of specialized relief pitchers, an expanded strike zone, and new stadiums, including Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium and the Astrodome, that were pitcher's parks, which suppressed offensive production. Also, the increasing sophistication of training methods and sports medicine, such as Tommy John surgery, allowed players to maintain a high competitive level for a longer time. Randy Johnson, for example, won more games in his 40s than he did in his 20s.Since 1990, only four pitchers have joined the 300 win club: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Johnson. Changes in the game in the last decade of the 20th century have made attaining 300 career wins difficult, perhaps more so than during the mid 20th century. The four-man starting rotation has given way to a five-man rotation, which gives starting pitchers fewer chances to pick up wins. No pitcher reached 20 wins in a non strike-shortened year for the first time in 2006; this was repeated in 2009 and 2017.Recording 300 career wins has been seen as a guaranteed admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame. All pitchers with 300 wins have been elected to the Hall of Fame except for Clemens, who received only half of the vote total needed for induction in his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2013 and lost votes from that total in 2014. Clemens' future election is seen as uncertain because of his alleged links to use of performance-enhancing drugs. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must have "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, Many observers expect the club to gain few, if any, members in the foreseeable future. Ten members of the 300 win club are also members of the 3,000 strikeout club.

Big Three (Atlanta Braves)

The Big Three was a trio of Major League Baseball starting pitchers for the Atlanta Braves from 1993-2002 which consisted of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz. The Big Three combined to win six National League Cy Young Awards in the 1990s and helped lead the Atlanta Braves to a 1995 World Series win. Each member of the Big Three has had their jersey retired by the Atlanta Braves and has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Coca-Cola Olympic City

Coca-Cola Olympic City was an 8-acre (32,000 m2) plaza in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, adjacent to the city's Centennial Olympic Park. It was built in concurrence with the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. Managed by Orlando-based Baker Leisure Group, the featured three key areas that displayed Olympic based virtual reality sports attractions.

The first area allowed patrons to play a h-o-r-s-e style game called "HOOPS" against Grant Hill. The area also allowed patrons to test their baseball skills by striking out Cecil Fielder in a pitching simulator or hitting a home run against Tom Glavine in a batting simulator.

The second area allowed patrons to ride mountain bikes on simulated competition course, race against Jackie Joyner-Kersee in a 40-yard (37 m) dash, perform gymnastics on a balance beam with Mary Lou Retton, and race in a simulated wheelchair race as a Paralympian.

The third area included an Olympic themed theater show that took patrons through a 15-minute story about the history of the Olympic Games and the Spirit of the Games. The area also featured actual Olympic artifacts from the Olympic Museum in Lussanne, Switzerland.

Other areas of Coca-Cola Olympic City included the Champions Challenge Obstacle Course and an open-air theater that feature live shows for the Coca-Cola Olympic City Kids.

Greenville Braves

The Greenville Braves were an American minor league baseball franchise, based in Greenville, South Carolina, that served as the Class AA farm team of the Atlanta Braves between 1984 and 2004. The Braves played in Greenville Municipal Stadium for all 21 years of their existence.

The team had much success and many famous future Atlanta players such as Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Javy López, Jason Marquis, Eddie Pérez, Andruw Jones, and John Rocker played there. They won multiple Southern League championships, and the 1992 edition, managed by Grady Little and featuring Chipper Jones and López, won 100 out of 143 games (.699) during the regular season to take the pennant, then captured the SL playoff title. The 1992 Braves were recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time. After the 2004 season, the parent club in Atlanta transferred the G-Braves to Pearl, Mississippi, where the team is now known as the Mississippi Braves.

The Braves cited an outdated stadium that did not meet current standards and the City of Greenville's unwillingness to create a sufficient financial package to build a new stadium as the cause of the move. With the Greenville Braves out, the Greenville Bombers (formerly the Capital City Bombers), Class A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, moved into the old Braves stadium in 2005. In 2006, a brand new stadium located in Downtown Greenville, Fluor Field at the West End, opened and the Bombers changed their name to the Greenville Drive.

Kevin Millwood

Kevin Austin Millwood (born December 24, 1974) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played for the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners.

While with the Braves, Millwood was part of a pitching rotation which featured Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. In 1999 he was selected to his only All-Star Game and helped the Braves to the 1999 World Series and two seasons later the 2001 National League Championship Series. As a member of the Indians, his 2.86 ERA lead all American League pitchers. In 2012, Millwood became the 67th pitcher to record 2,000 career strikeouts.

List of Atlanta Braves Opening Day starting pitchers

The Atlanta Braves are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Atlanta. They play in the National League East division. They were based in Milwaukee and Boston before moving to Atlanta for the 1966 season. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Atlanta Braves have used 19 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 47 seasons in Atlanta. The 19 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 14 wins, 20 losses and 13 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.Hall of Famer Phil Niekro holds the Atlanta Braves' record for most Opening Day starts, with eight. He has a record in Opening Day starts for the Braves of no wins and six losses with two no decisions. Greg Maddux had seven Opening Day starts for the team and Rick Mahler had five. Tom Glavine and John Smoltz have each made four Opening Day starts for the Braves. Maddux has the record for most wins in Atlanta Braves Opening Day starts, with five. Mahler has the highest winning percentage in Opening Day starts (1.000), with four wins and no losses with one no decision. All of Mahler's four victories were shutouts, including three in consecutive years (1985 to 1987) by identical scores of 6–0. Niekro has the record for most losses in Atlanta Braves Opening Day starts, with six.From 1972 through 1980, the Braves lost nine consecutive Opening Day games. In those games, their starting pitchers had a record of no wins, six losses and three no decisions. Niekro had five of the losses during this streak, and Carl Morton had the other. Morton, Gary Gentry and Andy Messersmith had no decisions during the streak. One of the most famous Opening Day games in baseball history occurred during this stretch. That was the game on April 4, 1974, against the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium, when Hank Aaron hit his 714th career home run to tie Babe Ruth's all-time record. Carl Morton was Atlanta's starting pitcher for that game, and received a no decision.Overall, Atlanta Braves Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 4–5 with four no decisions at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, their original home ball park in Atlanta and a 3–3 record with three no decisions at their second home park in Atlanta, Turner Field. The Braves have yet to open a season at their current home of SunTrust Park, which opened for the 2017 season; the first regular-season game at SunTrust Park was the Braves' ninth of the 2017 season. This gives the Atlanta Braves' Opening Day starting pitchers a combined home record 7–8 with five no decisions. Their away record is 7–12 with eight no decisions. The Braves went on to play in the World Series in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 1999, and won the 1995 World Series championship games. John Smoltz was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1991, Tom Glavine in 1992 and 1999, and Greg Maddux in 1995 and 1996. They had a combined Opening Day record of 3–2 in years that the Atlanta Braves played in the World Series.

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at pitcher

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include the designated hitter, who replaces the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead. Mike Hampton has won the most Silver Sluggers as a pitcher, earning five consecutive awards with four different teams from 1999 to 2003. Tom Glavine is a four-time winner (1991, 1995–1996, 1998) with the Atlanta Braves. Rick Rhoden (1984–1986), Don Robinson (1982, 1989–1990), and Carlos Zambrano (2006, 2008–2009) each own three Silver Sluggers. Two-time winners include the inaugural winner, Bob Forsch (1980, 1987),, Fernando Valenzuela (1981, 1983), who won the Cy Young Award, the Rookie of the Year Award, and the Silver Slugger in his first full major league season., and Madison Bumgarner (2014–2015). The most recent winner is Germán Márquez.

Hampton has hit the most home runs in a pitcher's Silver Slugger-winning season, with seven in 2001. He is tied with Robinson as the leader in runs batted in, with 16 (Hampton, 2001; Robinson, 1982). Zack Greinke leads all Silver Slugger-winning pitchers in on-base percentage with a .409 clip set in 2013. Orel Hershiser leads winning pitchers in batting average, with the .356 mark he set in 1993. Micah Owings is the slugging percentage leader among winners (.683 in 2007).

Scott Leius

Scott Thomas Leius (born September 24, 1965 in Yonkers, New York) is a former American League baseball player during the 1990s.

Leius was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round of the 1986 Major League Baseball Draft out of Concordia College, New York. He then played in the minor leagues for the next four seasons. He was a late season call up by the Minnesota Twins and debuted with the parent club on September 3, 1990. Leius would remain with the Minnesota Twins through the 1995 season when he left for the Minnesota Twins' American League rival, the Cleveland Indians where he spent just one season, 1996. After that one season in Cleveland, Leius was out of Major League Baseball for the 1997 season. Afterwards, Leius went on to the Kansas City Royals where he spent two seasons, 1998 and 1999 before his career ended on July 3, 1999.It was with Minnesota that Leius was part of their 1991 World Series season, during that series Leius is best known for hitting a game-winning home run off of Tom Glavine breaking up a 2-2 tie in the 8th inning of Game 2. A steady defender at third base, he finished second to Wade Boggs in Gold Glove balloting in 1994. His highest yearly salary was paid out in 1995 while Leius was with the Minnesota Twins and amounted to $760,000 USD. This payout for Leius was a result his 1994 season in which he posted career highs in runs (57), home runs (14), RBIs (49) and tied his career high in slugging percentage (.417).Scott currently is a coach with the Big League Baseball Camp in Minnesota.

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.