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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > The Parent Connection > 2014 > The Parent Connection - January > From Little League® to Hall of Fame with a Special Parent Connection: Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Greg Maddox Get the Call to the Hall

From Little League® to Hall of Fame with a Special Parent Connection: Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Greg Maddox Get the Call to the Hall

VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1 JANUARY 2014



From Little League® to Hall of Fame with a Special Parent Connection:
Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Greg Maddox Get the Call to the Hall




While Little League is more about developing major league people, not major league players, there are many pro players who got their start in Little League. And, there are past Little Leaguers who have gone to even greater heights – induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. We are proud that the 2014 class of inductees is filled with Little League graduates, with one very special parent connection.

Frank Thomas, a Little League alumnus from Peach Little League in Columbus, Ga., was the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1993 and ’94, and joins Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine as the Hall’s first class of three, first-time electees since 1999. We are especially proud that in 1993, Mr. Thomas’s parents were honored as the George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year. Mr. Thomas’s father, Frank Thomas Sr. was his son’s Little League coach, proving that Little League is a family affair.

Mr. Thomas played for 19 years in the MLB and amassed a .301 career batting average with 521 home runs (18th all-time). He drove in 1,704 runs, good for 22nd all-time. In 1997, his .347 batting average was the best in the American League (AL) and in four different seasons he led the AL in on-base percentage.

Frank Thomas (#14), a Little League alumnus from Peach Little League in Columbus, Ga., was the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1993 and ’94.

Mr. Maddux, who grew up playing Little League in Madrid, Spain on Torrejón Air Base, and in Las Vegas, and Mr. Glavine, a graduate of Billerica (Mass.) Little League, are 300-game winners and former teammates with the Atlanta Braves during the team’s run of 14 consecutive National League East Division titles.

More than 500 Major League Baseball writers submitted Hall of Fame votes this year and Mr. Maddux appeared on a near-record 97.2 percent of ballots cast. The percentage of ballots on which he appeared was slightly behind that of fellow Little League alums and Major League Baseball greats Cal Ripken (98.5 percent in 2007) and Tom Seaver, who holds the record percentage at 98.84, set when he was selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. Both Mr. Ripken and Mr. Seaver are enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence. In this year’s balloting, Mr. Glavine collected 91.9 percent and Mr. Thomas 83.7 percent of the votes.

Through a playing career that spanned 22 years and six teams, Mr. Maddux, who played Little League on two continents, won 355 games, the second-most since 1930. He was the first pitcher to win four consecutive Cy Young awards, posting at least 15 victories in a record 17 consecutive seasons. He won a record 18 Gold Glove awards. He had a career earned run average of 3.16.

During a 21-year Major League Baseball, the former Ballerica Little Leaguer, Mr. Glavine won more than 300 games, was a five-time 20-game winner, 10-time all-star, a World Series Champion and World Series Most Valuable Player.

Frank Thomas's parents were awarded the George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award in 1993.

Mike Mussina, former Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees pitcher, and current member of the Little League International Board of Directors received 22.3 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility. Mr. Mussina’s parents were honored as George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year in 1996.

"My parents are one of the biggest reasons that I had a successful baseball career, from Little League to college to the Major Leagues," said Mr. Mussina. "Their support over the years has helped me every step of the way. Now, as the father of two Little Leaguers, I hope I can pass on some of the lessons I learned from my parents to my sons."

This August, during the 75th Anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the three electees will join fellow Little League grads, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre, along with Tony La Russa, who were elected to the Hall in a December vote by the Expansion Era Committee.

With the five new Little League grads entering the National Baseball Hall of Fame, there will be 20 former Little Leaguers immortalized in Cooperstown.

Every year since 1981, Little League honors the parents of a current Major League Baseball player who were actively involved in their son’s Little League experience with the George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award. It’s a symbolic recognition of the millions of parents who, each year, dedicated their time to ensuring their sons and daughters have a wonderful Little League experience on the field, and off. Including Mr. Thomas’s and Mr. Mussina’s parents, some other honorees include the parents of Derek Jeter, Nolan Ryan, Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia and Gary Carter.


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