The glacial cold that has gripped the Northeast hasn't quite made it down to Johns Creek, Ga., but with temperatures in the 30's the Deep South is not exactly balmy this day.
Tom Glavine is just off a plane and getting ready for a day of family obligations. He's less than a week away from learning whether he will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first – and hopefully, only – year on the ballot.
But Glavine, the pride of Billerica, Mass., seems more concerned about one of his son's youth hockey games. He coaches the team, after all, so the pressure is on.
“I'm not defined by baseball,” said Glavine in a telephone interview. “I'd love for the Hall of Fame to happen, but if it doesn't, my life won't change. I'll still be coaching my boy's games.”
Glavine's life these days revolves around two things. There's his job as a special assistant to Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz and occasional TV and radio broadcaster. But more importantly, there's his family.
Glavine and his wife, Chris, have five kids. A son from Chris' first marriage, Jonathan, attends the University of Georgia. A daughter from Tom's first marriage, Amber, attends Boston College.
Two sons they had together, high-schooler Peyton and seventh-grader Mason, are heavily involved in hockey and baseball. And a fifth son, Kienan Patrick Glavine, whom the couple adopted at birth, is now four years old and running the house.
This is why the Billerica High Hall of Famer doesn't have time to worry about the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“I honestly don't know how the voting will go,” said Glavine, who will turn 48 in March. “From my standpoint, if you talk in terms of a body of work, I like my chances. I'm happy with my career.
“But the whole process can be fickle and make you scratch your head at times. Last year was a perfect example with Craig Biggio (who many thought would be elected but wasn't).”
Glavine's “body of work” is impressive, and early indications, from an on-line baseball site, are that he will make the 75-percent cut when results are officially announced Wednesday. His baseball resume:
He won 305 games in a 22-year career, one of only six lefthanded pitchers (and 24 overall) to achieve the 300-win milestone. There won't be another one for quite some time.
He was a five-time 20-game winner, and is still the last major leaguer to post three straight 20-win seasons (1991-93).
He won two Cy Young Awards in the National League (1991, '98) and was either second or third in the voting four other times.
He was the MVP of the 1995 World Series, the only one won by a Braves team that consistently under-performed in the playoffs. He won Games 2 and Game 6, the latter with eight scoreless innings of one-hit pitching in the Braves' 1-0 Series clinching victory.
He was a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner as the top-hitting pitcher in the National League.
Glavine won his 300th game on August 5, 2007 at Wrigley Field while in his fifth and final year as a Met after spending the first 16 years of his career with the Braves.
He returned to Atlanta for an injury-plagued season (amazingly, he went on the disabled list for the first time in 22 years in 2008) and retired following the 2009 season.
Election this week would have him joining former teammate and great friend Greg Maddux and former manager and great mentor Bobby Cox on the stage in Cooperstown on July 27.
“Going in would be a great honor,” said Glavine. “But to go in with two guys who played such a big part in my career would be even more special.”
Glavine was a union rep during some of baseball's most turbulent times. While he became a focal point for some disgruntled fans during the 1984 baseball strike, he was also instrumental in helping the game achieve long-term labor peace and in instituting drug testing in the sport.
When the Hall of Fame comes up, that's always a touchy subject.
“The steroid thing has cast a shadow not only on an individual basis but on the whole process,” said Glavine. “When anybody is doing anything spectacular in the game now you have to wonder. And that's not right. It's crazy, but it's understandable.
“I think it adds to what I did and what a guy like Greg Maddux did. Guys who obviously weren't taking anything pitching to some guys who were. I think it enhances our body of work.”
Glavine's body of work (305-203, 3.54 ERA, 2,607 strikeouts plus all the accomplishments listed above) hardly needs enhancing.
“Like I said I would love to get in,” he said. “But if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen. It is what it is.”
Like the man said before scurrying off to his son's hockey practice: “I'm not defined by baseball.”