Former Kings Draft Pick Tom Glavine Inducted Into Baseball Hall of Fame
When we think of Los Angeles Kings's draft picks from the early- to mid-80's, there isn't much to feel proud of. But 1984 stood above the fray for the purple-and-gold as the team was able to select a couple of gems.
It goes without saying that Luc Robitaille was the most valuable of Los Angeles drafty picks in the 1980's much less 1984 alone. While Robitaille did go on to have a Hall-of-Fame career, there was another prospect taken by the Kings that year who, just today, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame - the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Taken in the 4th round (169th overall) by the Kings in '84, Tom Glavine had aspirations for playing in the National Hockey League. Glavine, however, was also talented in baseball and in the same year, was taken by then-hapless Atlanta Braves in the second round of Major League Baseball's amateur draft.
A native of Concord, Massachusetts, Glavine ultimately chose baseball over hockey and began his professional career on August 17, 1987. That day, Glavine's Braves were at the world-famous Astrodome taking on the Houston Astros but it was a debut the young lefty would rather forget.
In just 3.2 innings, the 21-year-old was tagged for 10 hits, six runs and five walked batters. Atlanta would get crushed 11-2.
But Glavine's fortunes (and the Braves's) would eventually turn around and the lefty would join Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and, for a brief period, Steve Avery as one of the greatest pitching tandems in baseball history. Glavine's success would help the Braves win 15-straight division titles, five National League pennants and one World Series crown.
Glavine himself would go on to have five 20-win campaigns including three-straight from 1991 to 1993.
After a brief stint in the Big Apple with the New York Mets, Glavine returned to Atlanta to finish his 22-year career which saw him earned 305 wins, a 3.54 earned-run average, 2607 strikeouts and a winning percentage of .600. Glavine even put the skates back on as had the chance to play a game for the ECHL's Gwinnett Gladiators in 2009-10.
Along with Glavine, former teammate, the aforementioned Greg Maddux joins the class of 2014 in addition to former Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas, all of whom have been inducted in their first years of eligibility.
He may have never played a single shift for the Los Angeles Kings or even signed a contract with them but because he was drafted by them, Tom Glavine deserves honourable mention and congratulations for being inducted into the baseball immortality.