Maddux & Glavine Enter Hall of Fame
It was never going to be a case of ‘if’, just a case of the margin as former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday. Both players were entering their first year of eligibility for the Hall and were resoundingly elected with 97.2% and 91.9% of votes, respectively. Both players comfortably met the 75% of votes required for entry at the first time of asking. They will join former Braves manager, Bobby Cox in Cooperstown later this year as Cox was elected in December through an Expansion Era Committee vote. Frank Thomas, who played the majority of his career with the Chicago White Sox was also elected to the Hall. Craig Biggio missed election by just two votes, in his second year of eligibility.
There had been some debate as to whether Maddux would be the first member of the Hall to be elected unanimously. However, the day before the results were announced it emerged this would not be the case and Maddux’s 97.2% ranks as only the eighth highest percentage of all-time. Not that this bothered the legendary pitcher. "It's a tremendous honor to be included in this. I can't wait to meet some of the guys who are already in the Hall of Fame. To share this moment with Glav and Frank is pretty special, as well. Bobby and Joe Torre, I was lucky enough to play for those two guys. I'll look forward to going in with those guys as well. It's a tremendous honor."
Maddux won 355 games over a 23-year career. He collected 4 consecutive Cy Young Awards during the mid-1990s and his career ERA was a tremendous 3.16, made all the more astounding considering the heavy-hitting era in which he pitched. He won 15 games or more for 17 straight years – a feat no other pitcher has ever accomplished. Maddux also collected 3,371 strikeouts in his career, despite never possessing an overpowering fastball.
Glavine too won over 300 games in his illustrious career (305). He won the Cy Young Award in 1991 and again in 1998 and posted a career ERA of 3.54 in 682 career starts. The left-hander was never on the disabled list during his career in Atlanta and along with Maddux and John Smoltz, anchored a rotation that won the Atlanta Braves their sole World Championship in 1995.
"I'm flattered, honored and extremely proud to be sitting here today and talking to you guys about my selection to the Hall of Fame," Glavine said. "It certainly would have been disappointing had I not gotten the call today, but what I think what would have been really disappointing would have been to not have the opportunity to go in with Bobby and Greg. If there would have been something that would have killed me about not getting that phone call today, I think that would have been it. It's such a rare opportunity to go into the Hall of Fame. It's an even more rare opportunity to go in with a teammate and a manager and go in at the same time, particularly with Greg and Bobby, two guys who were so influential on my career."
Having played one more season than Maddux and Glavine, Smoltz will get his first opportunity to join his teammates on the 2015 ballot.
9th January 2014