Congratulations to the three new baseball Hall-of-Famers

Published 7:15 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Congratulations to former Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine on being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame last Wednesday.

They will be entering the Hall of Fame with their former manager Bobby Cox, who was voted in earlier by the veterans committee.

I was sad to see that former outstanding Bainbridge Bearcat baseball player Marvin Riles passed away recently. I sincerely express my condolences to his family.

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Marvin and his brothers, Gary and Ernie, are three of the most outstanding athletes I covered at Bainbridge High School. They are also three of the finest people I have ever known.

There is one event I shared with the Riles brothers I will never forget. It was the year that Ernie was “USA Today” rookie of the year with the Milwaukee Brewers. That summer I planned to visit my cousins in New Jersey while Ernie and the Brewers were playing the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

My dear friend and former Post-Searchlight publisher Sam Griffin got me press credentials to cover one of the Brewers games in Yankee Stadium. My cousins drove me into the stadium where we met up with Marvin, Gary and Ernie after the game to reminisce about old, pleasant memories. It was a great experience that I will remember forever.

Ernie has some of the equipment he used at the Hall of Fame. When he played with the San Francisco Giants, he hit the 10,000th home run in the history of the Giants franchise in New York and San Francisco. The ball and bat from that historic moment are in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. When Ernie struck that famous blow, it was truly a special moment in baseball history.

Maddux started his major league career with the Chicago Cubs where he pitched for 10 years. He then pitched 11 years with the Braves. Braves left-hander Glavine, who started his major league career with the Braves, where he pitched for 17 years, and ended it with the New York Mets, where he pitched for five years, is surely Hall of Fame worthy.

Maddux, who pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, late in his 23-year career, was an eight-time All-Star who had a career record of 355-227, with a career 3.16 earned run average. He won four Cy Young Awards and a record 18 Gold Gloves.

Glavine was a 10-time All-Star who had a career record of 305-203 with a 3.54 earned run average in 682 career starts. He won two Cy Young Awards and was an All-Star 10 times.

Maddux and Glavine, who are members of the Braves Hall of Fame, were Braves teammates from 1993 to 2002. They led the Braves to five World Series and to a World Series championship over the Cleveland Indians in 1995.

Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with Maddux and Glavine last Wednesday was former Chicago White Sox and Auburn University Tigers slugger Frank Thomas, nick named “The Big Hurt”, who won consecutive American League Most Valuable Player Awards with the White Sox in 1993 and 1994 and placed in the top three in Most Valuable Player voting five times.

Thomas finished his 19-year career with 2,468 hits, 521 home runs, 1,704 runs driven in and 1,494 runs scored.