Congrats Maddux, Glavine!

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 9, 2014

When the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced its 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame class on Wednesday, I couldn’t help but smile.

Former Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, along with former Chicago White Sox great and Auburn player Frank Thomas, were elected to join the coveted hall filled with the game’s greats at Cooperstown.

Maddux won 355 games in his pitching career, which is eighth on the wins list. He had a 3.16 ERA over 23 seasons and won four Cy Young Awards from 1992-95. Additionally, Maddux added an astounding 18 Gold Gloves with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego, according to a report.

Maddux also won 13 games in 20 straight seasons, along with being named an eight-time All-Star.

Glavine, who was Maddux’s longtime teammate with the Braves, was selected to the All-Star team 10 times and won the Cy Young twice. He racked up a 305-203 record over 22 seasons.

Thomas, on the other hand, hit .301 with 521 home runs and 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons with the White Sox, Toronto and Oakland.

I didn’t mean to bore you with all of those statistics, but I had to prove why the BWAA voted these guys into the HOF.

Players are granted a spot in the Hall if they get more than 75 percent of the vote. Maddux, Glavine and Thomas were the top three of the class.

In fourth place was Craig Biggio, who received 74.8 percent of the vote, just two votes shy of getting into Cooperstown.

As the round table on “SportsCenter” said during the lunch-hour broadcast after the HOF class was announced, Biggio will be a Hall of Famer one day, and it will be soon.

Like the Maddux, Glavine and Thomas, Biggio has the stats to prove it. He compiled a record 3,060 hits, 668 doubles, 1,175 RBIs to finish with a .363 batting average over a long 20-year career with the Houston Astros.

Much of the conversation about the current HOF class was centered around steroids and how much Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire’s vote totals dropped. I understand why their vote totals dropped, but as they said at the round table, there are others in the HOF right now that did some illegal things.

There should be, as one noted, a national discussion about this issue, what the Baseball Hall of Fame is and where we go from here.

To say that I was mesmerized about the discussion would be an understatement.

I was thrilled to learn before lunch that Maddux was getting his bid to the HOF, but didn’t realize that the list included Glavine.

I remember watching Braves games with Maddux on the mound, and the legendary sports announcer Skip Carey calling the games.

What a thrill it was to watch Maddux, also known as “The Professor” do his work from the mound.

Glavine was also a spectacle to watch from the mound as he gave hitters trouble with his left arm. Now, he helps commentate Braves games every now and then and provides good insight on the air waves.

Congrats to Maddux, Glavine and Thomas for being elected into the HOF.