that is Roger Clemens is nailed daily into our heads. But today, I choose to remind my fellow Houstonians of the greatness of another baseball player.
And, yes, I know that this is a Houston sports blog, but because the Chronicle will remind us all of the Clemens greatness, and because the Chronicle will be documenting Craig Biggio's quest for 3,000 hits, it's up to me to document another baseball player on the quest of another historic Hall-of-Fame clinching event. And no, his name's not Barry Bonds.
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Tom Glavine got his 291st career victory Sunday night. That puts him nine short of the magic 300 victories. Just a reminder, the great Roger Clemens also has more than 300 victories, as does Glavine's former teammate Greg Maddux. And Houston-area legend Nolan Ryan finished his career with more than 300 victories.
Roger Clemens is supposedly a great pitcher because of his blazing fastball and his bulldog attitude. But it's my belief that Tom Glavine may be the greater pitcher than Clemens. First, he doesn't have the raving ego of Clemens. Finally, and more importantly, Glavine's never had the magic stuff of Clemens. His fastball doesn't reach into the mid-nineties.
To watch Glavine pitch is to watch the work of an artist. Not able to rely on an overwhelming fastball, Glavine's learned to paint the corners of the plate. Most pitchers throw to the edge of the whiteness of the plate, Glavine throws to the black edge. His pitches are pitches that are good enough to hit, but pitches that the batters just can't quite get around on.
I know that I should not speak nicely of Glavine. He ruined the hopes of many an Astros fan. And he plays for the hated Mets. But 300 wins is as rare as 3,000 hits. And it is something that should be remembered in Houston. — John Royal