Red Sox manager John Farrell, left, shakes hands with newly elected Hall of Famer and Billerica native Tom Glavine in Boston on Thursday. AP PHOTOSun staff
Red Sox manager John Farrell, left, shakes hands with newly elected Hall of Famer and Billerica native Tom Glavine in Boston on Thursday. AP PHOTO

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BOSTON -- Throughout a Major League Baseball career that saw him win 305 games, two Cy Young Awards and a World Series MVP Award in 1995, Tom Glavine never changed much, staying true to the family values he learned growing up in Billerica.

Earlier this month Glavine took his rightful place among the game's elite as the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted him into the Hall of Fame on the first-ballot, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a player.

Even though he's taking up residence in baseball's ultra-posh high-rent district, alongside the likes of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Walter Johnson, Cy Young and Sandy Koufax, Glavine is still as down to earth a superstar as you will come across.

The only thing that has changed since getting the call to Cooperstown, N.Y., site of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is his autograph. These days, the former Atlanta Braves left-hander, who also pitched for the New York Mets, gladly adds HOF (Hall of Fame) after every autograph he signs.

The induction ceremony for this year's Hall of Fame Class, which includes Glavine's former Braves' teammate, pitcher Greg Maddux, and Chicago White Sox' slugger, Frank Thomas, will be held on July 27.

"I'm getting a little used to it (signing HOF)," said Glavine, who was in town Thursday night to receive the Judge Emil Fuchs Award, for long and meritorious service to the game, at the 75th annual Boston Baseball Writers Award Dinner.


"It's funny in the last year or so I'd run in to people who asked me to put it (HOF) on (my autograph) and, 'I said no.' I told them I'd be happy to add it.

"So I've had to add it for a few people the last few weeks and that's been good. It's nice. I hope there's no rule where you have to wait for enshrinement to sign as a Hall of Famer. If there is, I've broken it. But I've been happy to write it (HOF) on there."

Glavine will be entering the Hall of Fame with Maddux, who joined him on the Braves' amazing starting pitching rotation of the mid-1990s to early-2000s, and his manager in Atlanta, Bobby Cox, who was voted in by the expansion era veterans committee in December.

"That to me was the one thing I wanted more than anything else," said Glavine. "With Bobby already being in and me being very confident Greg was going to get in, that was the one thing that would have disappointed me, not having the opportunity to go in with those two guys.

"It's a big deal for me. They're two guys who were very influential for me during my career. I spent a large chunk of my career with them. To go in with them makes something that's pretty darn special, that much more special."

Glavine, a five-time 20 game winner and nine-time All-Star, is the 14th Massachusetts native to reach the Hall of Fame. Although he remains a Red Sox fan to this day -- "You grow up in this area, it's in your blood and it's hard to get it out of your blood" -- he doesn't regret having never pitched for the Red Sox.

"I don't regret it because I don't know if I ever had the opportunity, really," said Glavine. "I guess as an 18-year old kid coming out of high school I was hoping they would draft me. But it didn't work out that way so you take whatever opportunity you get.

"I know (Boston) is a difficult place to play, especially for hometown people. But I have an appreciation for the fans and sports here. It's something I wonder what it would have been like, but I never had the chance to find out."

These days Glavine is busy finding out what getting elected to the Hall of Fame is all about.

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