COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Three men who made their mark on the baseball diamond and three who made theirs from the dugout were inducted Sunday into baseball's Hall of Fame. The six men, three of whom have ties to the Cubs and White Sox, addressed the thousands who gathered in Cooperstown, thanking those who helped them along the way.
Thomas, the most accomplished slugger in White Sox history, was nicknamed "The Big Hurt" for his bat prowess, He won AL MVP awards in 1993 and 1994 and finished his 19-year career with a .301 batting average, 521 homers and 1,704 RBIs. He's also the only player in major league history with seven straight seasons with a .300 average, 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 walks, and the first Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter.
Thomas played 16 years for the White Sox and established himself as the best hitter in franchise history. He holds the team record for homers (448), doubles (447), RBIs (1,465), runs (1,327), extra-base hits (906), walks (1,466), total bases (3,949), slugging percentage (.568) and on-base percentage (.427).
Maddux won 355 games over a 23-year major league career. Nicknamed "Mad Dog," Maddux had stints with the Braves, Cubs, Padres and Dodgers and won four straight Cy Young Awards, leading the NL in innings each season.
Known for his pinpoint control, Maddux walked just 999 in 5,008 1-3 innings and ranks 10th in strikeouts with 3,371. He also was a sharp fielder, capturing 18 Gold Gloves, and was an All-Star eight times.
Maddux and fellow inductee Tom Glavine were mainstays of the Braves staff, helping Atlanta win 14 division titles in a row starting in the 1990s.
Glavine is the rare athlete drafted by two professional leagues in different sports. He won 305 games and two Cy Young Awards, and posted five seasons with 20 or more victories. Only three left-handers have more wins -- Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton and Eddie Plank.
Drafted by the Braves in 1984, Glavine also was taken by the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL draft that year but chose to focus on baseball.
Glavine was on the mound when the Braves won Game 6 to clinch the 1995 World Series and give the city of Atlanta its lone major sports title.
Tony La Russa
La Russa, third all-time in victories as a manager, 2,728 times in his long career, behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw. He was picked as manager of the year four times and won 12 division titles, six pennants and World Series titles in 1989, 2006, and 2011.
Signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1962, La Russa's six-year major league career as an infielder was forgettable. He batted .199 with no home runs in 132 games.
But after earning a law degree at Florida State University and giving managing a try in the minor leagues, he found his niche, was elevated to manage the White Sox in 1979, and his managing career took off. He won two championships with St. Louis and one with Oakland.
Torre, the managerial mastermind of the resurgence of the New York Yankees, excelled as a player -- in 1971 he won National League MVP honors with a signature season that included 230 hits and a .363 average, 97 runs, and 137 RBIs for the St. Louis Cardinals -- but he became something special in the Yankees dugout.
Despite mediocre stints managing the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals (five winning seasons in 15 years), Torre was hired by the Yankees prior to the 1996 season. In 12 years with Torre at the helm, the Yankees won 10 division titles, six AL pennants, and four World Series.
Torre is the only man to amass more than 2,000 hits (2,342) as a player and win more than 2,000 games (2,326) as a manager, according to STATS.
Cox guided the Atlanta Braves to an unprecedented 14 straight division titles and 15 playoff appearances.
A light-hitting infielder who appeared in 220 games for the New York Yankees in 1968-69, Cox found his niche in the dugout. He retired after the 2010 season with 2,504 victories in 29 seasons, fourth behind Connie Mack, John McGraw and fellow inductee Tony La Russa.
The feisty Cox, who also spent four years in Toronto, was a four-time Manager of the Year, three in the NL and one in the AL, and holds the major league record with 159 ejections.