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Tom Glavine

From Academic Kids

Thomas Michael Glavine (born March 25, 1966 in Concord, Massachusetts) is a Major League Baseball player. During the 1990s Tom, 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 fielder and decent hitter as far as pitchers go.

Early Career

Tom Glavine excelled in several sports during high school, including ice hockey and baseball, and was drafted by both the Los Angeles Kings in the 1984 NHL amateur draft, and the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball organization in the 2nd round of the 1984 amateur baseball draft. Tom elected to play baseball and made his Major League debut on August 17, 1987.

Tom 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.

Best Years

Tom'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. Tom's season also led a dramatic reversal in the Braves' competitive fortunes as they won the National League East Division and went to the World Series, only to lose to the Minnesota Twins.

Atlanta, long thought of as a perrenial 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 the best trio of pitchers ever assembled on one team. Between them, they won seven Cy Young Awards during the period of 1991 to 1998. Tom won his second Cy Young Award in 1998.

In 2003, much to the chagrin of many Braves fans, Tom left Atlanta to play for the rival New York Mets, signing a three-year $35-million deal. For the first time since 1988, Tom 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. The slump has continued, as he has gone 1-3 with a 5.67 ERA for the month of April, 2005. Tom's slump was initially blamed not on a decline in his skills but on the New York Mets own general decline as a team since the 2002 season, resulting in poor run support that frequently robbed him of an otherwise easy win. However, as evidenced by his very high ERA to start the 2005 season as well as improved offensive support by the Mets, that is not the cause so far this season. While his pre-2003 performance is more than enough to make him a virtual lock for the Baseball Hall of Fame; he was considered to be a shoo-in to eventually achieve 300 career wins as recently as 2002; now that is considered fairly unlikely unless he either has another 20-win season soon or pitches well into his forties.

Accomplishments

  • 9-time All-Star (1991-93, 1996-98, 2000, 2002, 2004)
  • Twice National League Cy Young Award winner (1991, 1998)
  • Finished 10th in National League MVP voting (1992)
  • Finished 2nd in National League Cy Young award voting (1992, 2000)
  • Finished 3rd in National League Cy Young award voting (1993, 1995)
  • World Series MVP Award (1995)
  • 5-time led National League in wins (1991-93, 1998, 2000)

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