Famous Baseball Players
Thomas Michael "Tom" Glavine (born March 25, 1966, Concord, Massachusetts and raised in Billerica, Massachusetts) is a Major League Baseball player for the New York Mets. During the 1990s Glavine, a left-hander, was one of the winningest pitchers in the National League. He is a five-time 20-game winner and two-time Cy Young Award winner. He is also known as an excellent fielding and hitting pitcher.
Glavine enjoyed good times and bad times during his first several years in the majors, compiling a 33-43 record from 1987 to 1990, including a 17-loss performance in 1988.
Glavine's fortunes turned around in 1991 when he won 20 games and posted a 2.55 ERA. It was his first of three consecutive 20 wins or more seasons and his first season to earn the National League Cy Young Award. Glavine was the ace on the 1991 starting rotation that also included Steve Avery, Charlie Leibrandt, and future fellow Cy Young winner, John Smoltz. Glavine's season also led a dramatic reversal in the Braves' competitive fortunes as they won the National League West Division and went to the World Series, only to lose to the Minnesota Twins.
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. The trio of Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux, acquired in 1993, is considered by some to be one of, if not the best trio of pitchers ever assembled on one team. 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.
In 1995, the Braves would defeat the Cleveland Indians in 6 games in the World Series, and Glavine would be named the MVP. Glavine won two games during that series: Game 2 and Game 6. In Game 6, he pitched eight innings of one-hit shutout baseball; in fact, the only run in that game was a solo 6th inning home run by David Justice of the Braves.
In 2003, much to the chagrin of many Braves fans, Glavine left Atlanta to play for the rival New York Mets, signing a four-year, $42.5 million deal. For the first time since 1988, Glavine failed to win 10 games, also posting his first losing record in that span, 9-14. In 2004, he stumbled again with his 2nd straight losing record, going 11-14. Glavine's slump was partially blamed on the New York Mets' decline as a team since the 2002 season, resulting in poor run support that frequently deprived him of an otherwise easy win. However, despite his lack of success with the Mets, his pre-2003 performance is more than enough to make him a virtual lock for the Baseball Hall of Fame. His performance improved somewhat in 2005, going 13-13 with a 3.53 ERA. He improved even more during 2006 and finished one victory shy of the National League lead in wins; he was also selected to the 2006 National League All Star Team. He'll enter 2007 needing only 10 wins to reach 300 wins for his career. Barring injury or major slump this should be achieved sometime during the 2007 season.
Glavine won a championship with the Braves in 1995, and also went to four other World Series (with the Braves in 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999).
Glavine has been considered one of the best lefties of his generation. During the prime of his career, and coincidentally the successful years as a Brave, Glavine lived on the outside part of the plate, predominantly a fastball-changeup pitcher. His approach was to induce either groundouts or fly-outs. During his stay with Atlanta, it has been popular belief that he was able to get the outside called strike easier. The same has not happened during his career in New York, as QuesTec has strongly factored into not getting that outside strike. During his struggles in the first two seasons as a Met, after the all-star break of the 2005 season, Glavine reinvented himself and started to achieve success in the rest of the 2005 campaign and one half of the way through the 2006 campaign. In addition to his old arsenal of fastball-changeup on the outside part of the plate, Glavine now includes inside fastballs and the occasional, and apparently surprising, inside changeup, and a curveball which Glavine has said to not have thrown since earlier in his career, albeit this is unconfirmed. This gives Glavine an entirely different look and feel, and has prompted the success starting in mid 2005 and into today.
Like longtime Atlanta teammate Greg Maddux, Glavine has been one of the better-hitting pitchers of his generation. He is a career .188 hitter -- very good for a pitcher -- and has hit over .200 in eight seasons, with a career best of .289 in 1996. He has a good eye, drawing a high number of walks, which combined with his hits have given him a career on-base percentage of .246. Because Glavine gets on base almost a quarter of the time he bats, opposing pitchers have never been able to treat him as an automatic out in the lineup. In 2004, Glavine walked as often as he struck out (10 times each), another remarkable feat for a pitcher. Glavine was voted onto the 2006 All Star team but chose not to play and gave up his roster spot because he pitched the Sunday before the game.
According to an article from ESPN dated August 21, 2006, Glavine's pitching shoulder was tested for a blood clot due to the fact that he is suffering from coldness in his left ring finger. This was originally thought to be a symptom of Raynaud's syndrome, which Glavine was diagnosed with in 1990, but according to the pitcher, doctors "...picked something up when they did the ultrasound." The results of the test showed that the problem could be treated with medicine and Glavine resumed pitching on September 1, 2006 against the Houston Astros.
Glavine finished the 2006 season with a record of 15-7, and a 3.82 ERA. Along the way, he became the first Mets lefthander in nearly 30 years to start at least thirty games in four consecutive seasons. He made his first postseason start as a Met in Game 2 of the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched six shutout innings and surrendered only four hits to pick up the win. The Mets went on to sweep the series from the Dodgers three games to none. Afterwards, Glavine and the Mets faced the St.Louis Cardinals on the National League Championship Series. On Game 1 of the NLCS, Glavine pitched seven shutout innings and picked up the win. He was saddled with the loss in Game 5. Glavine re-signed with the Mets on December 1, 2006, with a one-year $10.5-million contract with a 2008 option. He will enter the 2007 season 10 wins shy of the 300 win mark.