The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
A capsule look at this year's baseball Hall of Fame class
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - A look at Hall of Fame inductees Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox going into Sunday's induction ceremonies:
FRANK EDWARD THOMAS: "The Big Hurt." Born May 27, 1968, in Columbus, Georgia ... Hit .301 with 521 home runs and 1,704 RBIs in 19-year career mostly with the Chicago White Sox ... Only player in major league history to log seven straight seasons with a .300 average, 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 walks ... Was unanimous AL MVP in 1994; won award next season, too ... Holds White Sox franchise record for homers (448), doubles (447), RBIs (1,465), runs (1,327), extra-base hits (906), walks (1,466), total bases (3,949), slugging percentage (.568) and on-base percentage (.427) ... 5-time All-Star ... First Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter ... At 6-foot-5, was a tight end at Auburn, catching 3 passes for 45 yards ... Batted .359 with a school-record 21 homers in his first season at Auburn, made All-SEC in his second season and chosen SEC MVP the following year ... Selected by White Sox with the seventh pick in 1989 draft ... Debuted with White Sox in August 1990 and hit .330 with 21 extra-base hits and a team-high .529 slugging mark ... In 1991 split time at first base and DH and hit .318 with 32 homers and 109 RBIs. Also led the AL with 138 walks. ... In 1992 hit .323 and tied for the league lead with 46 doubles ... Batted .317 with 41 homers and 128 RBIs in 1993. Had a .729 slugging average, 109 walks and 106 runs to go with 38 homers, 101 RBIs and .353 average in strike-shortened 1994 season ... Led AL in 1997 with a .347 average and .456 on-base percentage ... Became full-time DH in 1998 ... Broke ankle for second time in 2005 as White Sox won the World Series with him on bench ... Signed with Oakland as free agent prior to 2006 season and had 39 home runs, 114 RBIs, .545 slugging average and .381 on-base percentage ... Became free agent and signed two-year deal with Toronto in November 2006 ... Led Blue Jays with 26 homers, 95 RBIs, 81 walks, and a .377 on-base average in 2007 ... Released by Toronto in April 2008 ... Prior to spring training in 2010 signed a one-day contract with White Sox and then announced his retirement.
GREGORY ALAN MADDUX: "Mad Dog." Born April 14, 1966, in San Angelo, Texas. ... Went 355-227 in 23 seasons with the Braves, Cubs, Padres and Dodgers and ranks 8th on career wins list. ... Won 4 straight Cy Young Awards (1992-95), leading NL in innings each season. ... Won 15 or more games for 17 straight seasons and had a career ERA of 3.16. ... Posted 1.56 ERA in 1994, followed up with 1.63 ERA the next year. ... Known for pinpoint control, walked 999 in 5,008 1-3 innings ... 10th in strikeouts with 3,371 ... Also a sharp fielder, won 18 Gold Gloves ... 8-time All-Star ... Joined Tom Glavine and John Smoltz as mainstays of Braves staff, helping Atlanta win 14 division titles in a row ... Received votes on 97.2 per cent of writers ballots, 8th-highest total in Hall of Fame history.
THOMAS MICHAEL GLAVINE: Born March 25, 1966, in Concord, Massachusetts ... Drafted by Atlanta Braves in 1984 and also taken by the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL draft that year ... Went 305-203 in 22 seasons, 17 with Atlanta and 5 with New York Mets ... Ranks 21st on career wins list, 4th-most for a left-hander ... 1991 and 1998 NL Cy Young Award winner and also finished 2nd twice in the voting ... 10-time All-Star ... 5 20-win seasons ... Led NL in starts 6 times ... A control pitcher with a nasty change-up, had 2,607 strikeouts ... Will forever be remembered in Atlanta for pitching one-hit ball over eight innings to beat Cleveland in decisive Game 6 of 1995 World Series, the Braves' only championship during their run of 14 straight division titles ... Went 20-11 in 1991 to help Atlanta go from worst to first, the first of 3 straight 20-win seasons. ... 4-time Silver Slugger as top hitting pitcher in NL, registering 246 hits, 90 RBIs and 101 walks in his career.
JOSEPH PAUL TORRE: Born July 18, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York ... Ranks No. 5 on managerial wins list with 2,326 victories in 29 years ... Finished career as only player to amass more than 2,000 hits (2,342) and win more than 2,000 games as a manager, according to STATS ... Well-respected as a catcher, third baseman and first baseman, hitting .297 with 252 homers and 1,185 RBIs as a player ... Won 1971 NL MVP, batting .363 with 230 hits, 24 HRs and 137 RBIs ... Three teams he played for hired him as manager, with the Mets giving him the first chance as a player-manager in 1977 ... Won a division title with Atlanta in 1982, but Braves were beaten by Cardinals in 5 games ... Fired by Atlanta in 1984 and worked as an Angels broadcaster until St. Louis hired him as manager late in the 1990 season ... Fired by Cardinals in 1995 despite winning records in his three full seasons ... Despite a pedestrian managerial record of 894-1,003, took over Yankees in 1996 and restored team to dominance, winning 1,173 games against only 767 losses, making 12 trips to the playoffs in 12 years, winning 10 division titles, six AL pennants, and four World Series, including three in a row (1998-2000) ... In 1998 guided the Yankees to a then-AL record 114 regular-season wins ... In 2001, deftly led the Yankees through the post-season in a city shaken by the Sept. 11 terror attacks, leading the club in a champagne toast after winning the ALCS rather than allowing an all-out celebration ... Lost 2001 World Series in seven games to Arizona when Mariano Rivera gave up Luis Gonzalez's broken-bat hit in the ninth ... Lost 2004 AL championship series after leading Boston 3-0 ... Took over Dodgers in 2008 and won two division titles in three years, finishing a 50-year career with trips to the playoffs in 14 of his final 15 years ... Retired from on-field duties in 2010.
ANTHONY LA RUSSA: Born Oct. 4, 1944, in Tampa, Florida ... Ranks third in career victories as a manager, behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw, with 2,728 wins against 2,365 losses ... Chosen manager of the year in 1983, 1988, 1992 and 2002 ... Won 12 division titles, six pennants and World Series titles in 1989, 2006 and 2011. The Cardinals' Game 7 win over Texas in 2011 marked La Russa's final game in the dugout. ... Signed by Kansas City Athletics in 1962 and also played for Oakland, Atlanta and Chicago Cubs in a six-year major league career as an infielder ... Batted .199 with 35 hits in 176 major league at-bats with no home runs and 7 RBIs in 132 games ... After earning law degree at Florida State University and giving managing a try in the minor leagues was elevated to manage the Chicago White Sox in 1979... Won one division title before being fired by White Sox during 1986 season ... Hired by Oakland weeks later and from 1988-92 led the team to four AL West titles, three AL pennants and the 1989 World Series championship ... Took over St. Louis from 1996-2011 and averaged 88 wins a year, capturing seven NL Central titles, three NL pennants, and two World Series titles.
ROBERT JOE "BOBBY" COX: Born May 21, 1941, in Tulsa, Oklahoma ... Retired after 2010 season with 2,504 victories, 4th all-time behind only Connie Mack, John McGraw and Tony La Russa ... Guided Atlanta Braves to unprecedented 14 straight division titles and 15 playoff appearances ... 4-time manager of the year, 3 in NL ... Light-hitting infielder who appeared in 220 games for the New York Yankees in 1968-69, batting .225 with 9 HRs and 58 RBIs ... Rare highlight as a player came in 1968 when his throw across the diamond to first baseman Mickey Mantle completed a triple play ... Landed 1st big league managing job with Braves in 1978, lasting four years with only winning season before being fired ... Guided Toronto Blue Jays to AL East championship in 1985 ... Lured back to Atlanta as general manager and oversaw a dismal era in late 1980s, including a 106-loss season ... Returned to the dugout and guided the Braves from worst to first in 1991, losing seven-game World Series to Minnesota ... Behind aces Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, Atlanta captured the 1995 championship .... Holds major league record with 161 career ejections.
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