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ONE WRITER'S BALLOT

By Martha Payne, ChopTalk

THE BRAVE OF THE '90S: Ah, the Grand Finale, the one player who of all the many starts will be remembered as the ultimate Brave during the last decade of the 1900s. I am torn between a position player and a starting pitcher.

In 1990, Justice hit 28 home runs and had 78 RBIs on his way to becoming the NL Rookie of the Year. In 1993, at age 27, he hit 40 homers, had 120 RBIs and placed third in the MVP balloting. And who is more symbolic of the Braves' march to the '95 World Championship than the guy whose oft-controversial comments and attitude riled up fans and teammates alike and whose bat single-handedly won decisive Game 6?

Glavine, that's who.

Only Glavine outshines Justice as a symbol of the total Braves experience of the '90s. After all, shouldn't a pitcher be the Brave to represent a decade full of teams whose lasting trademark is pitching? And even though Maddux won more Cy Youngs and Smoltz might have more glitz and power, Glavine has been through it all.

Along with Justice, Glavine coauthored the Braves' decisive Game 6 win in the '95 World Series. The classy lefthander gave up only one hit over eight innings in the 1-0 victory. He was 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA in two starts in that Series. And he's still going strong--winning his second Cy Young in '98 to clinch the title "Brave of the '90s" in my book.