2007 NEWS

2007 News > 3/29/07


By Mark Hale, NY Post
Original Article HERE.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Every time he earned a victory last year, Tom Glavine collected a keepsake.

Glavine has never been on the disabled list, but he began to fear his health might diminish. So he began to take a memento - a game ball - from each his victories, because he wasn't sure how many more he would capture.

"For some reason last year," Glavine said yesterday, "I just thought, 'I'm going to start keeping every one the rest of the way 'cause who knows which one may or may not be my last one and I want to have it.' "

Glavine saved the balls from all 15 wins, doing it partially because he was nearing his 300th win but primarily because of "not knowing what the future holds." This year, he'll continue to collect the balls from each of his wins, using the same reasoning.

By accumulating 10 more balls, Glavine will have survived to 300 victories, and his road is about to begin. The veteran left-hander will pitch on Opening Night in St. Louis three days from now only 10 wins away from his 300th.

This season, Glavine could become the 23rd pitcher to reach 300. He is also destined to enter the Hall of Fame a few years from now, and when he goes into Cooperstown, Glavine will likely be there - believe it or not - for the first time in his life.

Incredibly, Glavine has never been to the Hall of Fame, a combination of his life schedule and the intriguing potential of having his induction also be his Cooperstown debut.

"I think that initially it was more I just never had the chance to get there," Glavine said, "and now the last couple years, it's probably been more, 'It might be kind of cool to make that my first trip.' So we'll see."

The next real trip for Glavine - who still can't fathom Hall of Fame talk - is to St. Louis, where the Mets will open on Sunday night with him taking the hill. His 300th path will open, though he's more excited about simply having the regular season launch than beginning to navigate his personal-achievement boulevard.

Interestingly, Glavine has 290 wins in the majors, and his most significant success isn't part of that total.

"The biggest one is the one that, it doesn't count," he said, referring to Game 6 of the 1995 World Series when he pitched eight scoreless, one-hit innings against Cleveland to win the Fall Classic for Atlanta.

"Under the circumstances, and just the game itself, you can't pitch a whole lot better than that," Glavine said. "And to do it in that game, in that atmosphere, with that importance . . . to be locked in like that and pitch a game like that that meant so much, it's something I'll never forget."

Glavine also listed some other highlight wins yesterday, such as No. 1, 200 and 250. When he got to 250, that's when he realized he could perhaps reach 300 victories, thinking, "Now it's kind of on the radar screen."

Even though he's doing it mainly with his health in mind, so are 10 more keepsakes.