In their first year of eligibility, former Atlanta Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Their induction marks the first time two teammates have been selected in the same year since 1974, when ex-Yankees Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford were welcomed into the Hall.
Maddux, who came close to being the first ever unanimous HOF selection with 97.2 percent of votes, finished his storied career with 355 wins—the most by any right-handed pitcher since World War II. Among other accolades, Maddux won four Cy Young awards, led the National League in ERA four times and was named to eight All-Star teams. Additionally, he took home 18 Gold Glove awards and is considered by many the greatest fielding pitcher of all-time.
In 1995, Maddux helped lead the Braves to their lone World Series championship in Atlanta with a 19-2 regular season record and a league-best 1.63 ERA.
Glavine, who was drafted by Atlanta in 1984 out of Billerica High School (Mass.), spent 17 of his 22 Major League seasons with the Braves. In that time he won 20-plus games five times—305 overall—earning two Cy Youngs to go along with 10 All-Star appearances. One of the more talented hitting pitchers in baseball history, Glavine also garnered five Silver Slugger awards.
The 6-foot southpaw received 91.9 percent of Hall of Fame votes—less than Maddux, but well above the 75 percent mark needed for entry.
A gifted hockey player, Glavine was also picked by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round (69th overall) in the 1984 NHL Draft.
Craig Biggio came up several votes short of joining the Hall, receiving 74.8 percent of the votes in his second year of eligibility. Other notable omissions from the 2014 class include Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Curt Schilling, among others.
While Maddux and Glavine were different in many respects, each possessed rare control and intellect, which compensated for their inability to overpower hitters. In an age before the 100-mph fastball was commonplace, the two built successful careers painting the outside corners, out-smarting hitters and maintaining remarkable consistency on the mound.
Joining Maddux and Glavine is Georgia-born Frank Thomas. Known as “The Big Hurt,” Thomas hit 521 home runs in his 19 years of MLB service, ranking him 18th in Major League history, tied with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey.
This year marks the first time three players have been inducted into the same HOF class since 1999, when George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount were elected.
John Smoltz, who spent most of his career with Maddux and Glavine in Atlanta, will be eligible for the Hall of Fame next year.