— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 27, 2014
You can follow the wall-to-wall coverage of the Braves being inducted into Cooperstown today via basically every sports media outlet out there, so I'd just like to say a few things about each inductee.
Bobby Cox: I met Bobby a few times while he was managing. He was always incredibly kind - much more than you would expect, after seeing him blow up at umpires. One of my favorite things about Bobby's managerial style was how he'd ask his players, "Was he out?" They'd say yes, and he'd run out yelling, never seeing the play. The way he trusted his players made them trust and love him more.
Greg Maddux: I can't say much about Maddux that hasn't already been said. Obviously he was a genius and a weirdo and one of the best pitchers the Braves have ever had.
Tom Glavine: Glavine made me fall in love with pitching. The way he never gave in, he was never shaken up on the mound, the way he lived on the black... there wasn't a comparable pitcher, in my mind. When I was a kid, I remember having a serious wipeout on my bike and being unable to stop crying. My dad told me if I dried up right then, he'd take me to Glavine's next start. Ask me how quickly I stopped crying!
When Glavine went to free agency and ended up signing with the Mets, it was my first and hardest lesson about the business of baseball. At the time the Mets were our biggest rival, and it felt like he was cheating on us with the enemy. But Glavine leaving the Braves helped me let go of other favorite Braves who moved on (specifically Javy Lopez and Brian McCann), and as a result, I'm less hard on players who take the bigger contracts elsewhere.
To all three: thank you for making me appreciate the game, and thanks for all your years on our team. Atlanta wouldn't have a professional sports championship without you.