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March 20, 2014

Glavine 'overwhelmed' by Hall visit

Tom Glavine got a peek at the National Baseball Hall of Fame last summer, but it was nothing like what he saw Monday.

“When we had a break, we came in for about an hour, but it wasn’t much time,” Glavine said of his last Hall visit, part of a summer trip to watch his son Mason play baseball at the Cooperstown Dreams Park.

On Monday, Glavine had plenty of time to look around as the 2014 Hall of Famer took his orientation tour with his wife, Christine.

Erik Strohl, the Hall’s vice president for exhibitions and collections, narrated the private tour for the retired left-handed pitcher who spent his Major League Baseball career with the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets.

“I am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that’s here, by the amount of history that’s here,” said Glavine, a first-ballot Hall of Famer who appeared on 91.9 percent of the ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America earlier this year. “I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I will be here.”

Glavine won 305 games, two National League Cy Young Awards and four Silver Slugger Awards in a career that stretched from 1987-2008. The 10-time All-Star earned World Series MVP honors when the Braves won the title in 1995 and also appeared in the 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999 Fall Classics.

Glavine had to work for his accolades, though. He lost 17 games in 1988 and was 33-43 after four years in the majors. Glavine said two things helped him improve.

“No. 1, my recognition, after my first full year when I lost 17 games, that I had to have better command of my pitches,” he said. “Certainly I did that my fourth year, when I won 14 games. It was the progression of throwing more strikes that helped me go from losing 17 games to winning 14.

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