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Thomas Michael Glavine (born March 25, 1966) is an Americanmarker left-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who is currently a free agent.

With 164 victories during the 1990s, Glavine was the second winningest pitcher in the National League, second only to Greg Maddux. He is 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. As of 2009, his 305 wins rank him as baseball's winningest active pitcher. He is also known as an excellent fielding and hitting pitcher.


Early years

Glavine was born in Concord, Massachusettsmarker and reared in Billerica, Massachusettsmarker. Glavine attended Billerica Memorial High Schoolmarker, 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. He also won the state championships for Billerica in 1985. His fellow teammates included Gary DiSarcina and his catcher, publicity seeker Jim Fielding.

Post-high school

Glavine was drafted by both the Los Angeles Kings in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft (in the 4th round, 69th overall—two rounds ahead of future National Hockey League star Brett Hull and five rounds ahead of Luc Robitaille, both 2009 Hockey Hall of Famemarker 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

Glavine earned his first career win against the Pittsburgh Pirates, hitting Barry Bonds in the back (years later, Bonds hit his 756th career home run the same week Glavine got his 300th career win). 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.

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. Glavine was the ace on the 1991 Braves' starting rotation that also included Steve Avery, Charlie Leibrandt, and another future NL Cy Young Award winner, 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), Glavine became the last major league pitcher—and the only pitcher active in 2007—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 the best pitching rotation of the decade. 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 fact, the only run in that game was a solo 6th-inning home run by David Justice of the Braves.

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).

New York Mets

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. 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, a dismal 9–14. He also allowed his first and only career grand slam, hit by Jose 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 and selection to the National League All-Star team. However, he struggled again during a second half marred by losing front teeth in a car accident while riding in a taxicab. He went on to post a slightly better record, though still a losing one, going 11–14.

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 Beltran'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.

On August 5, 2007, Glavine won his 300th game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Fieldmarker on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. In the game, he also was 1 for 2 with a run batted in and a walk. He pitched 6 1/3 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.

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 play-off game with the Phillies for the division. Unfortunately, Glavine made one of the worst starts of his career, allowing 8 runs while recording only one out.

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.

Return to Atlanta Braves

Glavine being introduced at Turner Field in his first game back with the Braves in 2008
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.

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 Philadelphia Phillies.

On February 19, , 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. However, the Braves released Glavine on June 3, 2009, as he was completing his rehab assignment. On June 20, Glavine announced he won't pitch for the rest of the season.

Pitching style

Glavine, a left-hander, has gradually lost velocity over the course of his career. He continues to be an effective starting pitcher in the National League by using his excellent control and deception, switching speeds, and locating pitches off the outside corner of the strike zone. His most common approach is to begin by locating his circle changeup off the outside corner, then follow with alternating fastballs and change ups to confuse the hitter. While batters frequently make contact with his pitches, the substantial movement he places on them makes drives very soft, resulting in easily fielded ground balls and infield fly outs. Glavine's consistency is also highlighted by his durability; since his first full year in 1988, he has started at least 25 games every year. In addition to his excellent change up and well-controlled fastball, Glavine has a plus-curve ball, a slider, and a tailing two-seam fastball. Despite being a left-handed pitcher, Glavine is often more effective against right-handed batters. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully noted that this attribute is likely due to Glavine pitching from the extreme right edge of the pitching rubber.

Like longtime Atlanta teammate Greg Maddux, Glavine has been one of the better-hitting pitchers of his generation. He has a career .188 batting average—decent for a modern 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 is also an excellent bunter. His 201 sacrifice bunts prior to 2007 ranks second among active players to Omar Vizquel. Glavine has four Silver Slugger Awards, ranking him second all-time for pitchers behind Mike Hampton.

Although he was teammates with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz for many years, he exhibited a largely different pitching personality. Glavine has been known for a calm, unemotional personality, even during rough outings. This is a marked contrast to Maddux and Smoltz, both emotional competitors.

Players' union representative

Starting in 1991, Tom Glavine served as the Atlanta Braves team representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association, succeeding former NL Most Valuable Player and Braves icon Dale Murphy in the position. Prior to and during the 1994 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. Ultimately, the strike caused the cancellation of the 1994 World Series and lasted 7 1/2 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. Glavine currently serves as the National League players' representative .

Personal life and philanthropy

  • The 43-year-old Glavine and his wife Christina have a 4-week-old baby: a son Kienan Patrick, whom they adopted. The Glavines had four children already —- Amber, 14, by Glavine’s previous marriage, Jonathan, 14, by Chris’ previous marriage and two sons together, Peyton, 10, and Mason, 8.
  • Tom Glavine is a Roman Catholic and has done a recorded piece for Catholic Athletes for Christ.
  • In 2005, Along with several Mets teammates, Tom Glavine served as the spokesperson for "Operation Backpack". The program helped equip over 7,000 homeless school children with back packs full of necessary school supplies. An additional 3,000 back packs were sent to Houston to help Katrina victims.
  • In 2007, Tom 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, Tom 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, Tom 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


  • 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 Fieldmarker, doing so while with Atlanta.

See also


  1. Mets buyout Tom Glavine for $3 million
  2. Glavine returning to Braves. Retrieved on 2009-02-20.
  3. Agent: Glavine released by Braves
  4. Glavine will evaluate future after season
  5. The two sides of Tom Glavine - pitcher, union representative; includes related articles - Baseball Preview - Cover Story | Sporting News, The | Find Articles at

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