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2003 News > 7th Inning Stretch

7TH INNING STRETCH

By Dan O'Neill, Baseball Digest

Coming out of Billerica Memorial High in Concord, Massachusetts, you were a legitimate hockey prospect, with 41 goals and 44 assists in your senior year. In 1984, you were drafted in the fourth round of the NHL draft by the Los Angeles Kings, then taken in the second round of the baseball draft by the Atlanta Braves. Did you ever seriously consider playing hockey?
"At 18 years old before I got drafted, I was kind of faced with giving up hockey, giving up baseball or trying to play both in college. But when I got drafted, there was a big difference. The Kings called me and said. `We drafted you, we know you're going to go to college, we'll keep an eye on you.' The Braves drafted me, they called and said, `Let's have a meeting, we want to sign you.' That's kind of the way it went and the Kings never really made any overtures until after I already signed with the Braves. I think hockey, in actuality, was probably my first love. But in my heart I knew, being a left-handed pitcher, I had a distinct advantage in baseball that I did not possess in hockey, so I think hockey would have been a much tougher road for me because I would have had to put on a lot of weight, got bigger and stronger and all that stuff."

You are an avid golfer and a 6-handicap. What is your best score and what are some of the top courses you have played?
Yeah, I love golf, I don't always play good, but ... I played at Bellerive Country Club and that's a great course. My best score is even-par 72, which I shot at Mystic Dunes in Orlando, Florida. I would say the best courses I ever have played would be Pine Valley, Augusta National and Cypress Point--that would probably be the top three. I've played Augusta twice, shot 85 the first time and 82 the second time."

Is there any autograph you don't have that you would like to have?
"No, I think the one that l really wanted and finally got, and got an opportunity to meet the person, was Bobby Orr. Growing up I was a huge Bobby Orr fan, and it so happened that five or six years ago, the company he was with merged with my agent's company and I actually got to know him a little bit and play some golf with him and that kind of thing. It turned out to be pretty neat."

Who is the toughest hitter in baseball for you to face?
"Well, statistically speaking, that would be Mike Redmond of the Florida Marlins. He's batting about a smooth .600 off of me. He just wears me out. I don't know what it is. It's just one of those things where if I make a bad pitch, he hits a line drive somewhere and if I make a good pitch, he hits a blooper that falls in somewhere."

You are a two-time Cy Young winner, you have pitched in five World Series, had five 20-win seasons and are the winningest left-handed pitcher in the major leagues over the past 14 seasons. What do you consider the highlight of your career?
"I would have to say it was the World Series game in 1995. (Note: Glavine pitched a one-hit shutout for eight innings and the Braves beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0 in Game 6 to win the Series). There are a couple of reasons: Obviously, it's the thing that you play for. There's no greater feeling than when the year is all said and done, you're the world champions and you have achieved your goal in doing that and being the best in baseball. To experience that and experience probably the best game that I ever pitched all at the same time, that was pretty awesome."