By Charles Odum/The Associated Press
ATLANTA — Tom Glavine thought of his rocky first full season with the Atlanta Braves when the team announced Tuesday it will retire his number.
Glavine’s highlights with the Braves included two NL Cy Young awards and the decisive win over the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series.
Before he enjoyed five seasons with 20 or more wins with Atlanta, Glavine went 7-17 in 1988. He says at that point there was no way he could know his No. 47 would one day be retired by the team.
“It’s not something you ever envisioned and not something I ever envisioned, certainly with the way my career started in Atlanta,” Glavine told The Associated Press.
The Braves will induct Glavine into the team’s Hall of Fame and retire his number on Aug. 6 before a home game against the San Francisco Giants.
Glavine ranks 21st all-time with 305 wins, including 244 with the Braves. He spent five years with the New York Mets from 2003-07 but played most of his career with manager Bobby Cox and pitching coach Leo Mazzone in Atlanta.
The left-hander joined Greg Maddux, who had his No. 31 retired by the Braves and Cubs last year, and John Smoltz in a dominant Braves rotation. The three combined to win seven Cy Young awards in the 1990s.
“Like most of my career, I was fortunate to play for a great manager and have a great pitching coach and have some great players around me,” Glavine said. “That all made me better and it was just a great environment to play in.”
He will become only the seventh Braves player to have his number retired, joining Maddux, Hank Aaron (44), Warren Spahn (21), Eddie Mathews (41), Dale Murphy (3) and Phil Niekro (35).
“Obviously it puts me in some pretty darn good company,” Glavine said. “Not only in the Atlanta Braves world, but also in the world of baseball. Those are guys who were great players. It’s always special when you’re put in that kind of company.”
The left-hander finished his playing career with the Braves in 2008. He attempted a 2009 comeback from surgery on his left elbow and shoulder. He was bitter when he was released by the team after what he believed was a successful minor league rehab stint.
Glavine’s relationship with the team was restored in February when he made his retirement official and was named a special assistant to team president John Schuerholz. He also works on some Braves radio and TV broadcasts as he decides what long-term role to pursue.
“Tom has been, and continues to be, a very special part of the Atlanta Braves organization,” Schuerholz said, adding it was time Glavine’s number “finds its rightful place alongside other great Braves Hall of Famers.”
Glavine, a 10-time All-Star, was 244-147 with a 3.41 ERA in 17 seasons with Atlanta and 305-203 overall. He won Cy Young Awards in 1991, when the Braves began their run of 14 straight division titles, and 1998.