Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday for his career on the baseball diamond, but his growth and success began during his younger days in Billerica, Mass.
Glavine, who won 244 career games in 22 MLB seasons, got his work ethic and toughness from his hometown, which is detailed in John Tomase’s piece in Wednesday’s Boston Herald.
“I think he brings that Billerica mentality of, ‘you work for everything you get in your life,’” high school teammate and close friend Scott Crandall said, via the Herald. “Yes, he was a special talent, but special talent doesn’t do it alone. It might take you to the big leagues, but to be as successful as he became, that takes work, and that was rooted in Billerica.”
And the work paid off. Glavine quickly became one of the most feared two-way baseball players in the area. He hit hit over .400 in high school, but the scouts came to see him pitch.
Glavine threw 88-90 mph, and went 15-3 with 195 strikeouts in his junior and senior years.
Baseball wasn’t Glavine’s only sport, though, as he was a prolific hockey player throughout his high school years. He scored 75 points as a junior and led the state with 94 as a senior, earning a scholarship to UMass Lowell to play hockey.
Glavine’s decision to ultimately play baseball, however, was simple.
“When you’re a left-hander and can throw hard like that, I think it was an easy decision to figure out in which sport you’d have the longer career. Baseball was the way to go,” Paul Ames, a teammate of Glavine’s who played hockey at UMass Lowell, told the Herald.
Glavine was a 10-time All-Star and a World Series MVP in 1995. He’ll enter the Hall of Fame as a first-ballot player after garnering 91.9 percent of votes.