SI TV presents “Aces’ Choice,” a brand new offering in partnership with MLB that gives you an unvarnished look of four of the greatest outings by four of the game’s greatest pitchers. Tom Glavine took the hill in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series against the Indians with an opportunity to win it all. With his signature poise, Glavine silenced the Indians over eight innings to earn the win and World Series MVP.
The Result: Braves 1, Indians 0
The Line: 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
The Backstory: The Braves, leading 3–2 in their third World Series appearance in five years, had dominated the National League since 1991—but hadn’t won a world championship. A win in Game 6 would deliver the franchise’s first title since ’57. A loss? The phrase “Buffalo Bills of baseball” was in the air.
A no-brainer, for two reasons. Number 1, the circumstance. To perform in that setting, certainly it was a big deal. Secondly, the Indians were without question the best offensive lineup I faced in my career. Kenny Lofton led off, then you had Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Manny Ramírez, Sandy Alomar … They had five guys who had 20 home runs that year.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d go eight innings and give up one hit. For me the big moment was the first inning. I was typically a slow starter; I often struggled in the first inning. I had a really good warmup before the game. You’re looking for movement and location and stuff. I had all three in my warmup—and everything I had in the bullpen, I had out on the mound. I got through the first in order and settled in.
Looking back, it’s how well the game went and how well I pitched and the gravity of the moment. . . . For [the Braves] in particular, having lost a couple times in the World Series, to get over that hump and win one was just satisfaction.
If anything, Glavine’s style as a pitcher is the opposite of the style a hockey player needs. An imaginative mind can see Roger Clemens, the 1991 Cy Young winner in the American League, lacing up a pair of skates and dropping his gloves at center ice to fight the biggest and baddest goon on the other side. Clemens, the man who wears a mouth guard to stop himself from grinding his teeth while he pitches, is all fire and spirit and malevolence. Glavine? An imaginative mind can see him in an office, a solver of corporate problems, an idea and detail man in a suit and tie.