The Baseball Hall of Fame will welcome the 2014 class this afternoon in Cooperstown, NY. If you have been watching any of the festivities around Cooperstown this weekend, you know this is a big deal for these players. Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine look like wide-eyed kids again
Today, these kids’ childhood dreams will come true. When these guys played baseball growing up, you know they dreamed of being in the Hall of Fame. Right up there with hitting a homer to win Game 7 of the World Series.
This year, six more baseball greats will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame forever. There is no taking this moment away.
Here is the order of the acceptance speeches:
First up will be Greg Maddux. Maddux was a second round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1984, and made his major league debut in September of 1986. He went on to win 355 games with a 3.16 ERAand 3,371 strikeouts in his 23 year career with the Cubs, Braves, Dodgers, and Padres . Maddux won 15 games or more in an astonishing 17 straight seasons, and was the catalyst behind the Braves’ dominance in the 1990’s.
Following Maddux will be his manager with the Braves, Bobby Cox. Cox managed for 29 seasons in the major leagues with the Blue Jays and Braves. His teams won 2,504 games, five pennants, and one World Series title in 1995.
Completing the Braves’ trifecta will be Tom Glavine. He was also an instumental piece of the 1990’s Braves. Like Maddux, Glavine was also a second round pick in 1984. He was drafted by the Braves, and played for the organization until the end of the 2002 season. He returned “home” in 2008 after a stint with the Mets to finish in Atlanta. Glavine won 305 games in his 22 seasons with a 3.54 ERA and 2,607 strikeouts.
The first non-Brave to speak will be legendary manager Tony LaRussa. LaRussa managed for 33 years in the majors with the White Sox, Athletics, and Cardinals. His teams won 2,728 games, six pennants, and three World Series titles (1989 Athletics, 2006 Cardinals, and 2011 Cardinals).
Up next will be White Sox slugger Frank Thomas. Thomas actually played tight end for Auburn in Bo Jackson‘s Heisman-winning 1985 season. The White Sox drafted Thomas seventh overall in 1989, and persuaded him to play baseball. It turned out to be a great decision. Thomas racked up a .301 average, 521 home runs, and 1,704 RBI in his 19 year career with the White Sox, Athletics, and Blue Jays.
Rounding out the Class of 2014 acceptance speeches will be another legendary manager, Joe Torre. Torre had a successful 18 year playing career with the Braves, Cardinals, and Mets before landing his first managerial position in 1977 as player/manager with the Mets. Torre went on to manage for 29 seasons in the majors. His teams won 2,326 games six pennants, and four World Series titles (1996 Yankees, 1998 Yankees, 1999 Yankees, 2000 Yankees).