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Mass. appeal

Posted by David Sabino  January 8, 2014 06:48 PM

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Glavine.jpgBefore they chose Tom Glavine to be part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2014, it had been 60 years since the baseball writers elected a player born in the Bay State.

The Baseball Writers Association of America named its Hall of Fame Class of 2014 on Wednesday, and while Red Sox greats Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling and Boston-born former Red Sox farmhand Jeff Bagwell missed the cut, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Concord, Mass.-born and Billerica-raised Tom Glavine will all be immortalized in the national pastime’s shrine at Cooperstown, NY.

Maddux, a 355 game winner was given overwhelming support, earning mentions on 555 of the 571 votes cast, but his 97.2% of the vote fell just shy of the record held by fellow righthanded hurler Tom Seaver, who was selected on 98.8 percent of the ballots in 1992.

Thomas, the strapping White Sox, A’s and Blue Jays slugger who hit 521 home runs to tie with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 18th on the alltime list and once was college teammates at Auburn with Bo Jackson. He becomes the first player who was primarily a designated hitter to be enshrined.

Then there’s the local kid, Glavine, who was originally drafted on June 4, 1984 by the Atlanta Braves, five days before he was taken by the Los Angeles Kings as the 69th overall pick of the 1984 NHL entry Draft. Glavine, a promising center, was actually selected before more members of the Hockey Hall of Fame ( Luc Robitaille the 171st pick, also by the Kings and Brett Hull, the 117th by the Calgary Flames)., than the baseball Hall of Fame (Glavine and Maddux are the first members of the 1984 MLB Draft to go into the Hall).

In all, Glavine becomes the ninth Massachusetts-born player to be elected to the Hall, and the first since Cambridge’s Joe Kelley was picked by the Veterans Committee in 1971. The BBWAA hadn’t selected a Bay State native in 60 years, the last being Springfield’s Rabbit Maranville whose career ended in 1935. The two other Massachusetts players picked by the writers, catcher Mickey Cochrane and third baseman Pie Traynor, both completed their playing days in 1937, making Glavine the first local Hall of Famer of the post-World War II era.

You have to include all of New England to find another local Hall of Famer who played after the war—former Red Sox and White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk, a UNH product born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, raised in Charlestown, New Hampshire, and enshrined in Cooperstown in 2000. Pudge however is the only Hall of Famer born any of the northern New England states. .

Hall of Famer, Birthplace, Elected-Inducted, Elected By

Massachusetts
Jack Chesbro, North Adams, 1946-47, OTC
Tommy McCarthy, Boston, 1946-47, OTC
Mickey Cochrane, Bridgewater, 1947, BBWAA
Pie Traynor, Framingham, 1948, BBWAA
Rabbit Maranville, Springfield,1954, BBWAA
John Clarkson, Cambridge,1963, VC
Tim Keefe, Cambridge, 1964, VC
Joe Kelley, Cambridge, 1971, VC
Tom Glavine, Concord, 2014, BBWAA

Rhode Island
Nap Lajoie, Woonsocket, 1937-39, BBWAA
Hugh Duffy, Cranston, 1945, OTC
Gabby Hartnett, Woonsocket, 1955, BBWAA

Connecticut
Jim O’Rourke, Bridgeport, 1945, OTC

Vermont
Carlton Fisk, Bellows Falls, 2000, BBWAA

Maine, New Hampshire
None


BBWAA = Baseball Writers Association of America
OTC = Old Timers Committee
VC = Veterans Committee

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Stats Driven is powered by David Sabino, who over the last two decades has been a source of statistical analysis on the pages of Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune. David has written about all seven recent Boston-area championships for Sports Illustrated Presents commemorative issues, was the creator of such long time features as SI’s Player Value Ranking, NBA Player Rating and long running fantasy football and baseball columns.

He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrated’s 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.

Now living in Marblehead, he’s focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.

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