Tom Glavine's uniform number retired

Updated: August 7, 2010, 1:14 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Tom Glavine rarely struggled to find the right words as a player. It happened Friday night, if only for a moment.

It came shortly after the Atlanta Braves honored Glavine by retiring his uniform number before their game against the San Francisco Giants.

[+] EnlargeTom Glavine
AP Photo/John BazemoreTom Glavine became only the seventh Braves player to have his number retired.

"For lack of a better word, it's been a really cool day," he said after several seconds in thought during the third inning.

After that, he was the old Glavine, with the words flowing.

"It's not something I ever envisioned. I'm humbled," he said.

Glavine's No. 47 was placed beside former teammate Greg Maddux's No. 31 on the Turner Field facade in left field during a 15-minute pregame ceremony. Maddux's number was retired last year.

"I was taken aback when I saw my number [up there] for the first time. It's really neat to know that every time I come to the ballpark or my kids come, my number is there to see," he said.

"For me, it was as close to overwhelming emotionally as I'm going to get. That says a lot," he said.

Before the presentation, delayed more than an hour by rain, Glavine sat with his adopted 1-year-old son, Kienan, on his lap at a platform near the mound at Turner Field.

Glavine was surrounded by his four other children, Jonathan, Peyton, Mason and Amber; and his wife, Chris. The entire current Braves team stood behind the platform.

Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, a Braves radio announcer, opened the festivities with highlights of Glavine's career. Manager Bobby Cox and team president John Schuerholz then spoke about the left-hander's career before Glavine's brief speech.

Glavine, a 10-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner, was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame earlier Friday during a luncheon downtown.

"People have asked me a lot in the last couple of weeks how I would feel. I wasn't sure," Glavine said.

He was on Friday night.

"I'm in awe," he said.

Glavine and three of his sons each threw out first pitches.

Glavine became only the seventh Braves player to have his number retired, joining Maddux, Hank Aaron (44), Warren Spahn (21), Eddie Mathews (41), Dale Murphy (3) and Phil Niekro (35).

Maddux, Glavine and John Smoltz combined to win seven Cy Youngs in the 1990s. Glavine's awards came in 1991 and 1998.

"He didn't have the Smoltzie or Maddux-type stuff, but he was just as effective because he put three pitches right where he wanted to," said third baseman Chipper Jones.

Glavine, who had five seasons with at least 20 wins, won 305 regular-season games and is one of only six left-handers with 300 wins. Spahn's 363 wins are the most for any left-hander. Glavine had a 244-147 record and 3.41 ERA with the Braves.

Glavine's biggest win came in the clinching Game 6 of the 1995 World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Glavine attempted a comeback with the Braves in 2009 but was released by the team following his minor league rehab from shoulder and elbow surgery.

He was named a special assistant to Schuerholz in February and has also worked on some Braves radio and TV broadcasts.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press