Bridgewater, NJ- With the recent announcement of Atlanta Braves and New York Mets pitching great Tom Glavine being elected to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame, the Somerset Patriots have caught up with one of their greats, Mike Glavine.
While the news of Tom’s induction is still fresh, it is also a very exciting time for his brother Mike, who is starting his eighth year with Northeastern University’s baseball team. In September of 2013, Glavine was named the successor to long-time head coach of the Northeastern Huskies, Neil McPhee, who is retiring after this season, his 29th with the program.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to the challenge. It’s something I have been working towards for the last five or six years. We play in a really good conference for baseball and being an alum here makes it an even bigger deal for me. I love coaching at this level because of the player development. You really have an impact on these kids and see them grow and improve throughout their college careers,” Glavine said.
Glavine spent four years as an undergraduate at Northeastern and left as one of the most prolific hitters in the program’s history. He batted .307 with 19 extra-base hits, including a school-record nine triples in his freshman year. Throughout his collegiate career, Glavine hit 28 home runs and knocked in 110 RBI, which placed him among the leaders in the school’s all-time record books.
After graduating, Glavine was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1995 and spent time at the Single-A level before being traded to the Braves and reaching as high as the Double-A level. The Braves released him in 2001 and his Somerset Patriots career began. While he wasn’t sure what to expect in his first season in the Atlantic League, Glavine realized quickly that he made the right choice.
“I had just gotten released and was really disappointed and not sure if I wanted to keep playing. Looking back on it, it was one of the best times in my playing career. The fans, the ballpark, and the people in the organization made it a great experience. That summer of 2001 was a very special run that I’ll always remember. I still speak very highly of my time in Somerset because it was when baseball became fun again,” said Glavine.
Glavine, a left-handed power hitting first baseman, was a feared part of the Somerset Patriots line up in 2001 and 2002.
He hit one of the most dramatic home runs in league history with his two run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game Four of the 2001 Atlantic League Championship Series to tie the game with the Newark Bears. Somerset would go on to rally from an 0-2 deficit in the series to win their first Atlantic League Championship.
Glavine played in 194 games for Somerset and had a .264 batting average, 90 runs scored, 188 hits, 44 doubles, 33 home runs, and 111 RBI.
Glavine, like many players before and after him, signed with an Atlantic League team to make his way back to a Major League organization and chase the dream of one day playing in the Major Leagues.
“I knew the reputation of the Atlantic League as the premier independent minor league around and I knew it would help to play there. You looked around at the rosters and just about everybody had extensive experience and a lot were big leaguers. That made the competition outstanding, especially when you are going against all these guys trying to make it back to the Major Leagues. The Atlantic League was instrumental in preparing me to get to the next level by allowing me a place to play everyday at a very high level,” Glavine said.
Following his time with the Patriots, Glavine signed with the Mets and made his Major League debut with the team in September of 2004. His first game at Shea Stadium was an eventful one where he started at first base with Tom on the mound. He was also replaced by Mets great Mike Piazza late in the game when New York was trying to transition the greatest hitting offensive catcher to first base.
Glavine retired from playing in 2004 to start the second chapter of his baseball career as a coach and focus on his family. He currently lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with his wife and three children.
2014 will be a big year for the entire Glavine family, as Tom will receive the ultimate baseball honor and becomes enshrined in the Hall Of Fame this July. Mike expressed how happy he was for his brother and his parents, who always were available to make sure Tom got to practices, games, and supported him every step of the way during a remarkable career. He said he expects a large number of Glavine family and friends to be at Cooperstown for the ceremony.
“To be judged as one of the best in your job is an honor. He went about everything the right way and was respected for it. Tom was a great competitor on the field and always giving of his time off it. You can see that in how much support he got in the voting. We are all excited to share in the excitement of his election and induction,” Glavine added.
Like Tom, Mike is no stranger to recognition for his accomplishments. He was inducted into the Northeastern Hall Of Fame in 2006 for excellence in the sport of baseball and was selected by fans and media as the first baseman of the All-Patriots Team in 2007 during the team’s 10th Season Anniversary.