Maddux, Glavine appear on track to enter Hall
Right-hander on 100 percent, lefty 97.2 percent of ballots already published
The Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be announced Wednesday. You can watch the announcement live at 2 p.m. ET on an MLB Network simulcast on MLB.com as part of a three-hour live show beginning at noon. On Thursday, MLB.com and MLB Network will air the news conferences featuring the electees live from New York at 11 a.m. ET.
ATLANTA -- While sipping coffee on the morning of Dec. 9, Bobby Cox was anxiously awaiting the call that would confirm his election into the Hall of Fame. But when it came, he chose to ignore it because his phone showed the call was coming from Oneonta, N.Y.
Fortunately, Cox's previous trips to baseball's sacred ground in upstate New York had given him enough familiarity to quickly remember Oneonta is located just down the road from Cooperstown. Moments later, he returned the call that he had been waiting to receive.
Over the next few months and years, Cox and many of the members of the Braves family will likely have a few opportunities to better familiarize themselves with the Cooperstown area, which is also known as baseball's Camelot.
When Cox learned that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 27, he said the event would be even more memorable if two of his great pitchers -- Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine -- were among the other honorees whose careers will be celebrated during this same induction ceremony.
It appears Cox and countless Braves fans might see this wish satisfied when the Hall of Fame balloting results are announced on Wednesday.
The Baseball Think Factory has been tabulating the results of the ballots that have already been published by eligible voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. As of late Thursday night, the tabulations accounted for 107 ballots, which would account for nearly 20 percent of the total cast last year.
Maddux received a vote on each of those ballots and Glavine was included on 97.2 percent. A player needs to be included on 75 percent of the ballots to gain induction.
"Those guys were a big part of my baseball career, both Bobby and Glav," Maddux said in late November. "To be able to share something with them again would be that much more special. You're always rooting for the best for your teammates and your ex-teammates. Whatever happens, happens. I'll be happy for both of them regardless of what happens. Just to be considered is an honor."
If Maddux and Glavine are both elected, they will become the first set of teammates to ever gain first-ballot entries in the same year. The only other teammates elected the same year were the Yankees' Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle in 1974. Mantle was a first-ballot inductee. Ford was inducted during his second year on the ballot.
Maddux and Glavine are also in line to join Phil Niekro as the only Hall of Famers who played a majority of their career in Atlanta. Niekro gained entry to Cooperstown's hallowed Hall in 1997.
The past 16 years have passed without a player entering the Hall of Fame wearing a Braves hat. But that trend is about to change.
If Maddux and Glavine both gain entry this year, they could return to Cooperstown as early as the summer of 2015 to celebrate the induction of John Smoltz, the other member of the Cy Young trio that headlined Atlanta's dominant starting rotations during the 1990s.
Around this time next year, there will likely be plenty of debate surrounding whether Smoltz will gain a first-ballot election. But there won't likely be much reason to debate whether Chipper Jones will gain this hallowed distinction when he becomes eligible in 2018.
"If you get in and go in by yourself, you're proud," Glavine said. "But if you have the opportunity to go in with guys you spent a large chunk of your career with and guys people identify you with, to me that would be even more fun. Now, you're able to experience it with guys who, by and large, went through it all with you -- or at least a big chunk -- and were instrumental in helping you along the way. To be able to share that with a couple guys would be pretty cool. So hopefully, it will happen."