1999 NEWS

1999 News > Family Affair

FAMILY AFFAIR

By Patty Rasmussen, ChopTalk

Tom and Chris Glavine are glowing. They are happily in love, newly married, and the proud parents of two four-year-olds, Tom's daughter Amber and Chris' son Jonathan. And if that's not enough, their new family is basking in the afterglow of Tom's fourth 20-win season.

Not many women get married on a Saturday, and three days later, get to call their husband on the golf course with the news that he won his second Cy Young Award. But that's exactly what happened to the former Chris St. Onge, who became Chris Glavine on Nov. 14 and the wife of the 1998 Cy Young winner on Nov. 17.

"He was playing the sixth hole, and he had just "birdied" when I called with the news," said Chris.

"You mean that doesn't happen to everyone?" joked Tom.

As exciting as that was, the Glavines are a couple with their priorities well in order. They take their relationship with each other and their children very seriously. Their wedding was a perfect example of how important they consider all the members of this new family.

Tom and Chris had taken great care to explain to the children: "You are going to be brother and sister. We're going to live in this house together and be a family."

"It was important for us to establish that the kids were part of the commitment we were making, Tom to Jonathan and me to Amber," said Chris.

To that end, the couple wrote special vows to the children and sealed the promise with two small, gold 'claddagh' rings. The 'claddagh' is an Irish symbol of love, loyalty and friendship.

"When Mike McCoy (the minister who performed the ceremony) said, 'Now Tom and Chris will exchange vows to the children,' they cried out 'That's us!"' said Chris with a smile.

The couple's road to the altar began with a chance phone call in March 1997. Though they had met years earlier in West Palm Beach, it wasn't until Tom was on the phone with a mutual friend just as Chris walked in that they learned they had more than a few common interests.

"He (Tom) said, 'Let me talk to her,'" recalled Chris, who was living in Florida at the time.

They chatted and discovered that their children are just four months apart in age. Soon after, they began dating.

"We don't have too many 'funny dating stories' because most of the time we were with the kids," said Chris.

Their relationship began to get serious in November of 1997 when Chris and Jonathan moved to Atlanta as a result of her former job with Home Depot. By that time, Tom and Chris were dating each other exclusively.

Then, during the '98 baseball season, Tom proposed marriage to Chris ... sort of.

"Tom tells me to tell everyone he proposed on one knee with a bouquet of flowers," said Chris. "Actually he was driving home from the ballpark after a rain delay ballgame, and we were talking on the phone as he drove home."

Tom asked Chris to open a Federal Express package on the counter.

"There were three rings inside," recalled Chris. "He said, 'Take your pick.'"

By the time Tom was in the garage, Chris had the ring on her finger and met him at the door.

"But," she said, "I had to ask him, 'Is there something you'd like to ask me?'"

Like most couples, Tom and Chris enjoy their time together. They like to listen to music and watch movies and sports. Having both grown up in the Northeast, they are hockey fans and look forward to attending NHL games when the expansion Atlanta Thrashers open play in the fall. Tom is an avid golfer and Chris has already begun taking lessons. But their main focus remains their children.

"Jonathan was so excited about being close to the baseball players," said, Chris.

His favorites are family friend and former Brave Mark Lemke, Chipper Jones and Andres Galarraga.

"He would say, 'Hey, Galarraga,' and I'd say, 'No, you call him Mr. Galarraga!'" Chris said with a laugh.

Amber and Jonathan like to tell people they are brother and sister, though to watch them there isn't any doubt.

The children are both affectionate and exasperated with one another. And like any other father, Tom manages to smooth any ruffled feathers with a heavy dose of tough love. The same dispassionate pitcher who coolly stares down batters is also capable of negotiating heated disputes between four-year-olds.

Chris acknowledges the need for time in building good relationships.

"We've all gotten much closer since the end of the baseball season," she said. "The children are adjusting well. Tommy has really taken to Jonathan, and vice versa."

Chris is also looking forward to playing a role in giving back to the Community. Tom has always been heavily involved in charity work.

"That's always been something that I wanted to do before," said Chris. "Tom and I are very sincere in our desire to 'give back.'"

She looks forward to making a contribution to the charities Tom supports as well as to the Braves Wives charities.

The Glavines decided not to take their honeymoon right after the wedding. They spent their first holidays as a family in Massachusetts and in Atlanta. In January, Tom and Chris will take their wedding trip to the Caribbean island of St. Bart's. Shortly afterward, it'll be time for spring training. Never a dull moment!