On Friday Frank Thomas hung up his spikes and began the process of mending any hard feelings with the White Sox. He'll have his number retired in Chicago and probably have his image painted on the outfield wall.
Neither Glavine nor Thomas played in the bigs in 2009 so their clock to Cooperstown started when the 2008 season ended... which means they will be eligible to be elected in 2014, along with Glavine's former teammate Greg Maddux (who retired at the end of 2008.)
So if you have a Hall of Fame vote in the year 2014, know that Sully Baseball is watching you.
I want to see Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas to get 100% of the vote on the first ballot.
They are all no brainers.
Glavine won 2 Cy Young Awards. (He would have won more if not for Maddux. Four other times he finished in the top 3 in the Cy Young vote. ) He won 305 games and won 20 games 5 times in an age of bullpen specialists. He pitched for 21+ seasons. And he was the MVP of the 1995 World Series, throwing 8 innings of 1 hit ball as the Braves won their only World Series in Atlanta.
There is no argument against that resume. He's got the stats. He has the longevity. He's got the dominance. He's got the post season honors. And his Cy Young winning season in 1991 helped transform the laughable Braves franchise into a powerhouse.
In an age when winning 300 games is supposed to be impossible, he won 355. He won 4 Cy Youngs in a row. From 1989 to 2000 he was in the top 5 of the Cy Young vote nine times.
No matter what stats you use to judge a pitcher, Maddux dominated. He consistently led the league in wins, ERA, innings pitched and won 18 Gold Gloves. When batters were juicing up, he'd post ERAs under 2.00. He had the best walks to innings pitched percentage in the league nine times. He would consistently have the best adjusted ERA+ in the league. I don't even know what that means, but it impresses me.
The Big Hurt was a top 5 MVP candidate in 1991... and he was a top 5 MVP candidate in 2006. And he picked up a pair of MVPs along the way.
If you like traditional stats, he was consistently a 30-40 home run guy, driving in 100+ runs 11 times and winning a batting title. If you are more of a sabermetrics guy, then he was a big slugger who drew 100 walks 10 times. Four times he finished the season with the highest OPS and four other times finished in the top 5.
He arrived in 1990 when the White Sox were beyond irrelevant and only a few years removed from a proposed move to Tampa. In Thomas' 17 years with the White Sox, he played on 12 teams with winning records including 3 division champs. Ironically the Big Hurt was too hurt to play in the 2005 World Series, but the White Sox progression from also rans to champs began with Thomas.
And oh yeah, he also helped lead Oakland to the ALCS in 2006. And along with Griffey seems to be the only big slugger from this era who wasn't linked to PEDs, which makes his 521 homers seem even more impressive.
What possible argument could ANYONE have against these guys?
What, Maddux didn't get enough saves? Glavine wasn't a good enough hockey player? Thomas appeared in the movie Mr. Baseball, and you didn't like it?
These are three guys who put up the numbers, can be identified with a team and did it over the long haul and without major scandals.
And don't pull the whole "Hey, if Babe Ruth didn't get 100% of the vote than nobody can" nonsense.
Not to go all Susan Powter on you, but we need to stop the insanity.