COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WALA) – If you ask any baseball fan, they will probably all agree the class of 2014 was the most successful, and most popular, class to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
On Sunday, six iconic players and coaches were inducted – and how deserving they were.
Tom Glavine pitched for the Atlanta Braves from 1998 to 2002. After 6 years with the Mets, he returned to the Braves where he retired. After 22 years in the bigs, an overall 3.54 ERA, and more than four thousand innings pitched, the two-time Cy Young Award Winner thanked the fans and family for his success.
“Thank you to all the fans here and in Atlanta today. You supported me on and off the field. It meant so much to me. I know there’s a bunch of you here today and I know there’s a bunch of you at Turner Field today back in Atlanta watching this on TV as well. Thank you guys so much. Atlanta has been in my home. I have so many great friends there now many of whom are here today and I am truly grateful and honored of your support and friendship,” said Glavine.
The Mad Dog was also inducted. Greg Maddux pitched for the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs. Most of his success however, was with the Braves, including winning four Cy Young Awards.
Maddux helped lead the Braves to the 1995 World Series by pitched 8 scoreless innings in Game 6 against the Cleveland Indians. On Sunday in Cooperstown, he explained why his inductions to the Hall of Fame had no allegiance to a certain team.
“People ask me why I have no Hall of Fame plaque with no logo or why my hall of fame plaque has no logo. I spent twelve years in Chicago…eleven in Atlanta. Both places are very special to me. Without experiences in the cities I would not be standing here today. I picked Atlanta because I finally wanted to get a World Series ring and start a family. Sorry Chicago, but yeah,” said Maddux.
The Big Hurt is now in the big hall. The Auburn standout has secured his spot in the Hall of Fame, with class.
Frank Thomas played for the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, and ended his career in Toronto with the Blue Jays. Thomas hit a career 521 home runs and more than 17-hundred RBI. On Sunday, Thomas tearfully thanked his parents for their support through the years.
“I would also like to thank my parents for working so hard to instill core values, to make the best of life. We didn’t have much but my parents worked hard for me and my siblings. Frank Senior, I know you’re watching and smiling from Heaven. Without you, I know 100% I wouldn’t be here in Cooperstown today. Thanks for pushing me and always preaching to me: ‘you can be someone special if you really work at it.’ I took that to heart, Pops. Look at us today,” said Thomas.
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame: Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre.
Torre had more than 2,300 wins, fifteen playoff appearances and four World Series titles. Tony La Russa reached the playoffs with the St. Louis Cardinals nine out of his sixteen seasons with the organization, including two World Series titles, and one with the Oakland Athletics. Bobby Cox had sixteen post-season appearances with the Atlanta Braves, the most of all-time, fourteen NLDS wins and five NL pennants.