Sunday night, Tom Glavine became the 23rd pitcher in Major League History to win 300 games, and just the fifth left-handed pitcher to ever reach that milestone.

Glavine’s first 242 career victories came with the Atlanta Braves, and of the three dominant Braves pitchers of the 90s—Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz—Glavine was always my favorite.

Never blessed with overpowering speed or a devastating breaking ball, he seemed to win games solely on willpower, guile and stubbornness.

I was somewhat heartbroken when Glavine left the Braves a few years ago to play for the New York Mets, Atlanta’s arch-rival, and even if his reasons were somewhat justified, I still shifted some of my allegiance from him to Smoltz, and took some delight when Glavine would pitch against the Braves and get roughed up.

I’m sure Glavine has lost a little bit over the last few years, but his career numbers certainly haven’t been helped by playing for the Mets, who were mediocre at best the first three years he pitched for them, and even since they’ve been good have ruined several of his strong performances by a lack of run support and meltdowns from the bullpen.

It does make you wonder how many wins Glavine would’ve had by now had he remained a Brave, or at least, it made me wonder, so I took a look at his stats. After a superficial investigation, assuming that he continued to win the same percentage of his starts, he would’ve had about 315 victories by now—basically a season’s worth.

Either way, Glavine will end up in the Hall of Fame, and will go down as one of the best pitchers of all time, but had he stayed in Atlanta, I think he might have had a chance of winning more games than any other left-handed pitcher in history (Warren Spahn holds the current record with 363), which would have put him in some very impressive company.

But then again, for a kid from the Northeast who wanted to be a hockey player and then went 7-17 in his first full season in the bigs, maybe getting to 300 is impressive enough.


The Doc File © 2006-2012 by Luke Dockery

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