Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy Day for Braves Fans

Yesterday was a good day to be an Atlanta Braves fan.

Although I don’t usually watch the National Baseball Hall of Fame announcement show when they name the new class elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, I was curious enough this year to tune in.

To the glee of Atlanta Braves fans everywhere, two Braves were elected on their first ballot – right-handed pitcher Gregg Maddux, and right-handed pitcher Tom Glavine. They will be joined on the acceptance podium on July 26 by their manager, Bobby Cox, elected by the Expansion Era Committee last month.
For the record, the three Braves will be joined by new inductees Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox, and managers Joe Torre (also once an Atlanta manager), and Tony La Russa.
I remember watching the Braves on an almost daily schedule when they were owned by Ted Turner, who broadcast their games on TBS. They were basically the only baseball game in town (well, along with the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets). If I were home during the game, I’d tune in. Otherwise, I’d videotape (remember videotape) the game and watch it later at night.
One can’t help but become a fan of Dale Murphy and Bob Horner. Murphy, by the way, didn’t make it to the Hall, slowly dropping in the voting until he dropped off after not being elected in the 15th and final year of eligibility. Too bad. I liked the guy.
I’ve seen Glavine pitch at a Los Angeles Dodgers home game, and I’ve seen Cox manage at least three times. Never did get to see Maddux pitch, however. Shucks. But I did follow his outings season after season.
Next year, the third pitcher in the great triumvirate, John Smoltz, will be on his first Hall of Fame ballot. He should be a shoo-in … like his cohorts, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and his coach, Bobby Cox.

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