Glavine's family cherishes moment
Son's sickness added to drama leading to 300th victory
CHICAGO -- Sunday was not a normal day for Tom Glavine, or his family.
Sure, the Mets left-hander was preparing for his second attempt at career win No. 300 -- which he notched in an 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night -- but during the day, his wife, Christine, was facing a difficult dilemma.
The couple's 13-year-old son, Jonathan, woke up sick around three o'clock in the morning, and was so sick that Christine actually called a doctor to their hotel room to give her son some medicine and make sure he was fine.
"We were just crossing our fingers that he would feel better," said Christine Glavine, who did not want to think of what Plan B would have to be. "My husband's going for 300, my son's coughing his guts up, what do I do? Luckily, he made a turn for the better."
Jonathan did indeed make a turn for the better, and he was at Wrigley Field along with his siblings, his mom, both sets of his grandparents, and other family and friends to watch his dad become the Major League's 23rd member of the 300-win club.
"I don't want to say a long time coming, but a lot of anticipation," said Christine Glavine, who after thinking about it for a second corrected herself. "Yeah, a long time coming. Twenty years in the making. He works so hard, he's so disciplined. We knew, hopefully, God willing, it was going to be inevitable. We couldn't do it on the first try, but he was awesome on the second try."
Glavine first went for win No. 300 on Tuesday in Milwaukee, but did not get a decision as the Mets lost to the Brewers, 4-2, in 13 innings. Glavine had 30 family members and friends in Milwaukee for the game, and fortunately, the entourage was able to make the trip to Chicago Sunday.
"That was the greatest," Tom's mother, Mildred Glavine, said. "They were all here for his first win, and of course they went to all the different fields throughout the years, and then to be able to all be here for this.
"It's just like floating in a hot-air balloon. It's incredible."
Glavine's 12-year-old daughter, Amber, felt the same way.
"It was great because he's been trying really hard for a really long time," Amber said as she fought back tears. "And it's just great that he could finally get here, because for so long we talked about how he's going to get 300 wins someday."
Glavine gave up two runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings to notch his 10th win of the season Sunday and become only the fifth left-handed pitcher to accumulate 300 wins. After receiving hugs from his teammates, he made his way over to his family and friends, who were all sitting just beyond the Mets dugout along the first base line.
"I just congratulated him, told him he did a great job, and that we're very proud of him," Tom's father, Fred, said. "It's 34 years of baseball. To have this accumulate into 300 wins in Chicago, in this city, is unbelievable. That's all I can say."
When Tom was growing up in Massachusetts, he heard stories from his father about Boston Braves pitcher Warren Spahn. Spahn also won his 300th game against the Cubs, but the elder Glavine was quick to shy away from any comparison between the two.
"Two different pitchers," Fred Glavine said. "Warren threw in the mid-nineties, Tommy's a soft-toss [pitcher]. Like he says and like Greg Maddux says, if they were coming out of high school today, neither one of them would probably get drafted. They don't throw hard enough. It's all about power."
Pete Smith faced Tom and his finesse pitching in high school, and was later teammates with him on the Atlanta Braves. On Sunday Smith again witnessed Glavine succeed without overpowering speed, watching as his friend triumphed in his shining moment.
"We came up together, we lived together with the Braves, we played high school ball against each other," Smith said. "Our families have bonded. We've known each other for 20-something years. It's just nice to be here and be part of the Glavine group today. It's phenomenal for that family, and I'm sure a lot of that pressure is going to be relieved now, so they can enjoy the rest of the season."
Christine Glavine agreed that some of the pressure was gone, and admitted that while usually she is the nervous one between her and her husband, on Sunday it was Tom that was nervous.
"I felt a little more calm today, I don't know why," Christine Glavine said. "But he didn't. He seemed more nervous today than he did in Milwaukee. Our kids start school in a couple of weeks, so we started freaking, we can't take them out of school every five days. We're glad to have it behind us."
"And hopefully," Christine Glavine said with a smile as the family's anything but ordinary day came to a close, "the next little gathering like this will be in Cooperstown."
Marc Zarefsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.