Braves fans cheer on during induction ceremonies at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Photo: Curtis Compton
Photo: Curtis Compton

‘Destined for Cooperstown’

The 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame enshrinement celebrated some of the most remarkable days in Atlanta Braves history.

I am incredibly proud of Bobby, Greg and Tom from both a personal and professional standpoint. These three very deserving men mean so much to me, the Braves organization and our fans. Each has accomplished so much in his career that there could be no doubt that they were destined for Cooperstown.

Bobby Cox: How proud and thankful I am to have worked side by side with one of our game’s greatest managers, one of the most kind and generous people I’ve ever known, one of the most respected professionals and now, great friend.

Bobby and I began our Braves’ partnership in the winter of 1990 when I was hired as general manager, joining Bobby and a dedicated, committed staff in what was about to be one of the greatest success stories in baseball history, our run of 14 consecutive division championships — an accomplishment still marveled by baseball executives and media to this day.

Bobby’s talents were many. An astute in-game strategist, great leader of men, honest, forthright, consistent communicator, defender of the honor of baseball and most importantly, one of the kindest, most considerate, caring people I’ve ever known. What an honor it’s been to have been his partner for those 17 great years of Braves excellence.

Greg Maddux: Compared often to a great artist creating his next masterpiece, a magician making a baseball dip and dive and disappear and a wizard weaving his befuddling, unhittable assortment of pitches, all thrown and arriving perfectly at his intended target at (or near) home plate.

His masterful command of an incomparable pitching repertoire, combined with the strategy of a sage mastermind and the winning spirit of a fierce competitor resulted in his 355 career wins, unanimous acclaim from his peers and entire baseball universe as one of the greatest pitchers ever — a true Hall of Famer.

Quiet and introspective at times, yet always fierce and phenomenally prepared to succeed each and every time he toed the rubber. He could certainly pitch with the best of them, won 18 Gold Gloves for his fielding prowess, seemed always to get the bunt down and do whatever necessary to get his team a win.

Mad Dog is a true world champion, Cy Young winner, reliable teammate, a great Brave and now Hall of Famer.

Tommy Glavine: It is truly incredible that three Atlanta Braves were inducted together into the National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It is not at all incredible to me that Tom Glavine is among those three.

A home-grown Brave whose overall athletic prowess and competitive spirit made him a fourth-round draft choice of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, as well as always distinguishing himself as a competitor, a winner and a champion. And now he receives his ultimate due — his induction as a baseball Hall of Famer.

His winning spirit, his competitive nature and his tough-mindedness combined with superb baseball intellect, adaptability and a fierce desire to win his games throughout his remarkable major league career earned him this highest of all honors in our industry.

It has been my good fortune and personal pleasure to have been associated with Tom as a world-class major league player and Brave and I was honored to be present at his induction in Cooperstown.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, who were also part of our organization, and Frank Thomas, who grew up in Georgia. What a monumental class for the National Hall of Fame and we are beaming with pride in Braves Country.

John Schuerholz, president of the Atlanta Braves, presided as the team’s general manger during its run of 14 divisional titles. The franchise compiled the best record in baseball during his 17 years (1,594-1,092) as GM and he became the first GM in history to win World Series in both leagues (Kansas City in 1985 and Atlanta in 1996).

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.