Now, Glavine is focused on striking out childhood cancer.
The former Atlanta Braves star and his wife Chris Glavine, both Johns Creek residents, have been an integral part of the efforts of CURE Childhood Cancer to curing the disease for the past decade.
The Atlanta-based organization will be honoring the Glavines for their dedication to the cause as part of the festivities of the inaugural Believe Ball at the St. Regis in Buckhead May 3.
Glavine will also be honored for his recent selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Tickets for the black-tie event, which will also include a cocktail party and a seated dinner as well as live and silent auctions, have already sold out.
“I guess it’s borderline unbelievable,” Glavine said. “To be a little less than a month out and be in a position where we have people on a waiting list to come to the event is not something that any of us really expected. I think we were hoping to get to that point where we sold out. But I didn’t think we ever anticipated being so far out from the date of the event, so that’s been great.”
Tom and Chris Glavine have been a part of the battle to cure childhood cancer for the past decade, motivated to get involved after an elementary school classmate of their son Jonathan came down with the disease.
Since that time, the Glavines have devoted time and money to the cause, with Chris Glavine helping to organize the Quiet Heroes luncheon — honoring the mothers of children diagnosed with cancer.
“Tom and Chris have been relentless advocates for CURE and those affected by pediatric cancer,” CURE Childhood Cancer Executive Director Kristin Connor said in a statement. “They have selflessly given countless hours and dollars towards the cause and we wanted an opportunity to formally thank them for their contributions to CURE and to simultaneously celebrate Tom’s election to the Hall of Fame.”
Glavine said his wife’s Quiet Heroes luncheon served as an inspiration for the Believe Ball.
“Just for the simple idea of my wife having a lunch with the moms, taking their minds off of things for a little while, and the whole Believe Ball thing was sprung from the desire to bring a cure for childhood cancer to the next level,” Glavine said. “We’ve seen the great work that’s been done with breast cancer. I think for my wife and I, it’s been a matter of ‘How do we bring it to the next level?’ We’re not at that level just yet — that’s certainly the motivation.
“If we could ever get childhood cancer to be as recognizable as breast cancer and that’s what the whole idea of the Believe Ball was — to bring it to the next level.”
Glavine is also getting ready for his induction to the Hall of Fame, which will take place in Cooperstown, N.Y., July 26.
He will be inducted along with former Braves teammate Greg Maddux and manager Bobby Cox as well as former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, ex-Yankees manager Joe Torre and ex-Chicago White Sox star Frank Thomas.
“It’s certainly a great honor,” Glavine said. “It’s one of those things that I still find myself from time to time thinking about it and from time to time, the feelings change. I’m obviously honored and I’m humbled and all those things. But, there are moments where it’s still unbelievable for me. It’s certainly not some thing I ever really anticipated when I started playing professional baseball. But it’s really the kind of thing that as your career goes on, you have some success and some things start to happen. You get some milestones and what not and you certainly start to think about it a little bit.
“But to be considered one of the greats of the game and get in the Baseball Hall of Fame, which is one of the hardest, if not the hardest accomplishment, in professional sports is a huge honor.”
Glavine compiled a 305-203 record with a 3.54 earned run average and 2,607 strikeouts during his 22-year career. He played with Atlanta from 1987 to 2002, then pitched for the New York Mets from ’03 to ’07 before returning to the Braves to finish his career in ’08.