1994 NEWS

1994 News > Mr. Conservative


By IJ Rosenberg, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tom Glavine is no liberal. Just ask him.

"I would strongly consider myself to be conservative," said the Braves pitcher. "There are not a whole lot of things I do that are very crazy or anything like that. I guess some people might think I am a liberal because I'm outspoken."

Indeed, in this labor battle between owners and players, this strife between establishment and rank-and-file, Glavine is much like the teamster who would stand on the loading dock preaching solidarity.

As the Braves' player representative, he has become a strong voice among players, carrying weight not only in his own clubhouse but throughout the union.

"I don't keep up with it like I should," said second baseman Mark Lemke. "I basically listen to Tom and go with what he says. I know a lot of guys are like that. He knows what he is talking about. He has everybody's respect."

Added union special assistant Mark Belanger, "Tom is a very conscientious player rep. He gets things quick, I mean real quick. I think he handles himself well in meetings and the way he relays his information to his team."

While his teammates are spending their days on the golf course and with the kids at Disney World, Glavine, not paid for this job, is living next to his telephone, constantly in contact with the union in New York and handling a huge number of calls from the media. He pops up on local television, drops in on talk shows and is regularly quoted in newspapers.

"I basically handle the media the same way I always have," he said. "I have always been available."

Where did he get his appetite for the labor movement?

From his father.

"He instilled in me a working man's attitude to stand up for what is right for you," Glavine said. "I got an understanding of hard work and that kind of background from him. He is extremely blue collar. He worked for what he got. Nothing was ever given to him."