BOSTON — Once a Boston Red Sox fan, always a Boston Red Sox fan. Just ask Tom Glavine.
Glavine, who grew up in Billerica, Mass., carved out a successful Major League Baseball career with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets. But while Glavine’s accomplishments were enough to earn him induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the southpaw still remains a bit curious.
“I was disappointed that I didn’t get drafted by the Red Sox initially,” Glavine said before Thursday’s Baseball Writers’ Association of American awards dinner in Boston. “When I was going through that whole process, they were certainly one of the teams that were around. But for whatever reason, they didn’t draft me. Once I did get to the big leagues, there was one winter there where I was heavily rumored to be coming here for [Mike] Greenwell and something, but it never happened. It’s one of those things, much like my hockey past, I’ll kind of wonder what would have happened, but certainly I don’t have any regrets. Things worked out.”
Things certainly did work out, as Glavine earned 10 All-Star selections, won two National League Cy Young awards and played a crucial role in the Braves’ 1995 World Series victory. The left-hander now is headed for Cooperstown with 305 career victories in his back pocket.
Glavine announced Thursday that he’ll wear a Braves cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him don a Red Sox hat elsewhere. The 1984 Billerica Memorial High School graduate admitted Thursday that he has maintained a rooting interest in the Sox after all these years.
“I don’t watch a ton of baseball, only because I don’t have the time to with my kids. But if I’m sitting home and I’m going to watch a baseball game, I’m either watching a Braves game or I’m watching a Red Sox game,” Glavine said. “A lot of times, the Red Sox — I probably shouldn’t say this — will trump it, just because I don’t get to see them that much. You grow up here, it’s in your blood. It’s hard to get it out of your blood.”
No one asked Glavine to provide a blood sample Thursday to determine what percentage of his bloodstream is laced with Red Sox fandom. But when asked whether he’d root for the Red Sox or Braves in a potential World Series clash, Glavine was torn between his hometown and his longtime organization.
“That would be tough,” Glavine said. “I’ll cross that bridge if it ever happens.”
Well played, Mr. Glavine.
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