MILWAUKEE — It came as no surprise when the Braves announced Tuesday that Tom Glavine’s No. 47 would be retired and the left-hander inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame on Aug. 6.
“He meant a lot to this organization,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox, who praised the 305-game winner’s toughness and precision pitching. “All those years he pitched he never went on the disabled list till right at the very end. Great competitor.
“He can pitch hurt. Sore shoulder, sore elbow, bad ankle, bad knee, bad ribs … you name it, he did it. Amazing.”
Glavine will be inducted during a special luncheon Aug. 6 and the jersey number retirement will occur in a pre-game ceremony that night before the Braves play the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field.
“Tom has been, and continues to be, a very special part of the Atlanta Braves organization,” team president John Schuerholz said. “There’s no greater honor than inducting him into our Hall of Fame and making sure his Braves uniform number 47 is retired and finds its rightful place alongside other great Braves Hall of Famers.”
His will be the seventh Braves uniform number retired, joining Hank Aaron (44), Eddie Mathews (41), Dale Murphy (3), Phil Niekro (35), Warren Spahn (21) and Glavine’s longtime teammate Greg Maddux (31), who was honored in 2009.
The Braves also retired the number 42 along with all Major League Baseball teams to honor Jackie Robinson.
Glavine, now a special assistant to Schuerholz and a part-time Braves broadcaster, pitched for 19 years in the Braves organization. He was drafted by the Braves in 1984 and was with the team through the 2002 season. He returned to the Braves in 2008 after a stint with the New York Mets.
“He’s as much an important cog in what took place here in the ’90s as anybody,” third baseman Chipper Jones said. “The epitome of a true pitcher. Didn’t have the overwhelming stuff. Knew how to pitch, more than anything.
“He was a pleasure to play behind. You could count on, if the catcher set up inside or out, it was going to be within three or four inches of that catcher’s mitt. Allowed us to defense correctly and be there to make the play when the ball’s hit.”
Glavine ranks 21st in career wins with 305, fourth among lefties behind Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton and Eddie Plank. In 518 starts for the Braves, Glavine compiled a 244-147 record with a 3.41 ERA.
“He was like a machine most of the time,” Cox said. “Strike after strike, in, out, changed speeds, great change-up, great fielder, great bunter, good hitter. You could always squeeze with him, even with two strikes. He brought a lot to the ballpark.”