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A Brave in the Hall, Glavine keeps Boston in heart

BOSTON -- A few hours after Tom Glavine officially -- and unsurprisingly -- announced that he would have an Atlanta Braves logo on his Hall of Fame plaque, he relished being back in Red Sox country, the land where he grew up.

At Thursday night's Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, the native of Billerica, Mass., was given the most prestigious honor, the Judge Emil Fuchs Award, for long and meritorious service to the game.

Glavine takes pride in his background, and he always wonders what it might have been like to play for his hometown team.

"I was disappointed that I didn't get drafted by the Red Sox initially," said Glavine. "When I was going through that whole process, they were certainly one of the teams that were around. But for whatever reason, they didn't draft me. Once I did get to the big leagues, there was one winter there where I was heavily rumored to be coming here for [Mike] Greenwell and something, but it never happened. It's one of those things, much like my hockey past, I'll kind of wonder what would have happened, but I certainly don't have any regrets. Things worked out."

Yes, things worked out for the dazzling lefty, who won 305 games in a 22-year career, 17 of which were spent with the Braves. But Glavine has never given up his allegiance to the Red Sox. He enjoyed his hometown team's most recent World Series run, particularly the work done by fellow southpaw Jon Lester.

"Being a Red Sox fan still, I love watching him pitch," Glavine said. "I loved watching him in the postseason last year. That's the style of pitching that I like. He obviously throws hard, but it's not all about throwing the ball by people. He's thinking about what he's doing, he's mixing his pitches up well, and I love his competitiveness. He takes the ball and looks like he just has the attitude when he goes out there [of] 'I'm going to beat you.' I like seeing that kind of attitude."

Coming through in the big moments is something Glavine can relate to, as he all but willed the Braves to their World Series title in 1995.

"It's a lot of fun, and you don't want it to end," he said. "You do, obviously, from the standpoint of you want to win the World Series and you know that's the ultimate conclusion to it. But when you're on a roll like that and pitching that way under those circumstances, it's a lot of fun. That's where you want to be. It's impossible to be there all the time. When it all comes together under that atmosphere and that setting, it's a lot of fun."

Perhaps it's just as well that Boston wasn't the opponent for any of the five World Series in which Glavine pitched.

Who would he root for now in a Red Sox-Braves World Series?

"That would be tough. I'll cross that bridge if it ever happens," Glavine said.

Though Glavine maintains a residence in Atlanta, the Red Sox are no strangers to his television.

"I watch quite a bit. I don't watch a ton of baseball, only because I don't have the time to with my kids," he said. "But if I'm sitting home and I'm going to watch a baseball game, I'm either watching a Braves game or I'm watching a Red Sox game. A lot of times, the Red Sox -- I probably shouldn't say this -- will trump it, just because I don't get to see them that much. You grow up here, it's in your blood; it's hard to get it out of your blood."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Boston Red Sox