In the next edition of our Pro Tips series, I sat down with former NL CY Young award winner Tom Glavine to discuss all things pitching.
Tom Glavine was known for hitting his spots and getting batters out. He didn’t have the power fastball of Randy Johnson or the disappearing splitter of Roger Clemens. One thing Tom Glavine did have was a smart baseball mind.
“My out pitch was my change up, however I had to establish my fastball in order for that to work, even though I don’t throw hard” Glavine said. Tom’s career fastball velocity was 84.9 miles per hour. He relied on his wit and ability to outthink his opponents in order to win ballgames.
For a pitcher who made a living off control, Tom had to have an amazing work ethic. He told me some drills he to practice his control:
“I suggest practicing to portions of the plate, outer and inner halves, then 1/3′s then corners, establish 1/2′s first then move on to a new pitch. In terms of exercise; Throw and run, keep your legs strong, they are your foundation…throw but be smart, not max effort all the time and not 300ft long toss.”
As a 300 game winner, there weren’t many batters who got the best of Tom Glavine. However one asked who gave him the most trouble at the plate, Tom responded:
“Tony Gwynn. He was tough to outsmart or out execute. He was the best at spoiling pitches until you made a mistake; then he got you.”
And speaking of 300 wins, there are many in baseball who feel there will never be another game winner. I asked Tom his opinion on the matter and what it would take for there to be another 300 game winner. Tom Glavine (2007) and Randy Johnson (2009) are the last two major League pitchers to win 300 games.
“I’m not sure there will be another; not because of stuff but because of health, I don’t see too many guys in the game that I think can stay healthy for 20 yrs… You pretty much have to pitch 20 yrs to get there.”
Tom Glavine is a 300 game winner, a 2x CY Young award winner, a 5x 20-game winner, World Series champion and a 10x all star. With all those career accolades under his belt, it would be tough to choose one as his favorite career moment. I asked Tom Glavine what his favorite career moment was.
“My favorite career moments were winning the World Series in 1995 and my getting my 300th win.”
Finally towards the end of the interview, I asked Tom what his overall best piece of advice for youth baseball players is. He told me:
“Have fun. I know they all want to be a big leaguer but reality is they won’t. If that doesn’t happen, kids should be able to look back and say you had fun doing it and it would be the kind of thing you would want to be involved in with your own kids.”
New Jersey Baseball Magazine would like to thank Mr. Glavine for his tips and advice. All youth baseball players should listen to his words; because they are spoken by a man who will soon be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame!