I Don’t Hate Tom Glavine

No matter how hard I have tried to hate Tom Glavine over the years, and believe me, I tried … he was a Met! … it just hasn’t worked for me. Here are the two big reasons …

  • The 14 consecutive division title streak was launched on Glavine’s back in 1991 and 1992. His emergence was the single biggest factor. I am not trying to diminish the importance of Terry Pendleton’s acquisition, the power numbers of David Justice and Ron Gant, the improved defense, or the superb pitching by Steve Avery, Charlie Liebrandt and John Smoltz, after he started seeing the shrink anyway. Still, Tom Glavine was the superstar who carried the team.
  • The single greatest moment in Atlanta Braves post-season history was a result of Tom Glavine’s greatest performance. For eight innings in game 6 of the 1995 World Series, Glavine owned the Indians, the best offense in baseball. His one-hit performance, along with a superb outing in game 2, earned him the World Series MVP.

Yeah, I didn’t like it any more than any other Braves fan when he signed with the Mets, but I got over it. I understand those who haven’t. Still, it’s not enough to erase the memories of 1991 through 2002. (We’ll forget the 2002 post-season.)

Christmas Goodies

OK, I know Christmas was a little over two months ago, but I haven’t started opening my Christmas goodies yet. Every year, my wife grabs me a bunch of assorted stuff from Target or Wal-Mart. I love the repack boxes the most because I love to open old wax.

This year, I’ve got:
  • A 2008 Upper Deck Series 2 Fat Pack
  • A 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights Large Rack Pack
  • A 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights Retail Pack
  • A 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights Blaster
  • A Repack Container with Three Packs of Cards and a Memorabilia Card
  • A Repack Box with 30 Unopened Packs
  • A Container with 150 Random Cards
  • A 2008 Sweet Spot Retail Tin
  • A “Baseball Collector’s Box” which promises 200 cards, at least five packs, one memorabilia card and a Special Bonus Mystery Box Inside
I haven’t opened anything yet because I knew I would be between clients early this year and not able to buy any 2009 products, so I’m getting my card fix now with the Christmas Goodies. I’ve got a good assortment of stuff so I’ll start opening the stuff tonight. I hope I get something … anything good!

I Saw Greg Maddux Pitch

I was fortunate enough to see Greg Maddux pitch in person over a dozen times. He is the only player I got to see play in person where I knew in my heart of hearts I was watching the best player of his generation. His ability to dominate a game wasn’t the same as Clemens or Pedro’s, but he dominated none the less. Strangely, it was the first time I saw him start a game somewhere other than Atlanta that provided the most memorable experience.

In early 1997, I moved from Columbus, Georgia to Chicago. I was working at a client in Waukegan and one Tuesday, my buddy Mark and I decided to skip work and drive down into the city to see the doubleheader between the Braves and the Cubs. It was only my second time seeing a game at Wrigley, and it was the first time I ever saw my Braves play outside of Georgia. Before moving to Chicago, I was attending at least seven or eight Braves games a year and was seriously keyed up to see my team play in person. Best of all, my Greg Maddux was starting the first game.
At the end of the 1992 season, I was convinced that Greg Maddux was overrated. I believed beyond any shadow of a doubt that Tom Glavine has been screwed out of his second Cy Young award. When the Braves signed Maddux that Winter, I did some digging and discovered that Maddux was, in fact, the best pitcher in baseball in 1992. I became very excited for Opening Day 1993. After watching Maddux beat the Cubs 1-0 in his first start as a Braves, he was my favorite player and has been ever since.
Anyway, that Tuesday in the July of 1997 at Wrigley was something special. In Maddux’s worst inning, the fourth, he threw 12 pitches, 11 of them for strikes. The Cubbies scored the only run they would get on him that day with a single, a stolen base (where Maddux all but ignored the runner), and two ground outs. Over the nine innings of his complete game performance, he would allow just five scattered hits. Now, many pitchers have thrown no-hitters, one hitters, two hitters, etc. Maddux himself has 29 complete games where he gave up fewer than five hits. He has thrown 35 shutouts in his career. What made this one game so special?
That day Greg Maddux, over the course of nine innings, threw just 76 pitches. Of those pitches, 63 were strikes. I submit that the day Greg Maddux gave up five hits, and only struck out six hitters, in a complete game that wasn’t even a shutout, was one of the most masterful pitching performances ever seen. It’s certainly a memory I’ll never forget.

Chicks Dig the Long Ball

I’ve always considered it a shame that Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine didn’t get more endorsement deals. They’re pretty funny guys really. This is my favorite sports commercial of all time.