Before he won 300 games and was a World Series MVP with the Atlanta Braves, Tom Glavine was a superstar forward at Billerica High School in Massachusetts and dominated on the ice as well as he did on the diamond. His talents were good enough for the Los Angeles Kings to warrant drafting him in the fourth round of the 1984 NHL Draft.
Given the choice of playing hockey or baseball, Glavine chose the latter after being a second-round selection of the Braves in the 1984 MLB Draft. Prior to making that choice Glavine was committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and would surely have starred for the Riverhawks if he had chosen that route. It’s safe to say after four years of college hockey he would have been a refined prospect who, after time in the minors, could have been a regular on the Kings teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
One player who starred on those very teams was Luc Robitaille, who was also drafted in 1984 in the ninth round — a full five rounds after the Kings called Glavine’s name. While Glavine was frustrating hitters in the majors with his amazing left-handed delivery, Robitaille was torching the NHL and becoming the highest scoring left wing to ever play in the league. It is pretty mind-boggling to think the Kings selected both of these players in the same draft no less.
The image of Glavine speeding down the wing, catching a pass from Robitaille or even Wayne Gretzky and firing a shot over a helpless goalie would surely have been something to behold and could have been a reality. Having said that, Glavine made the right choice and his place in immortality has been clinched.
Not too bad for a skinny, left-handed kid from the Boston suburbs.