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posted: 7/29/2014 5:30 AM

The Hall of Fame hit a home run this year

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  • Mike North would gladly take new Hall of Famers Tony La Russa, from left, Joe Torre or Bobby Cox to manage his team.

    Mike North would gladly take new Hall of Famers Tony La Russa, from left, Joe Torre or Bobby Cox to manage his team.
    Associated Press


The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies last weekend had a big-time Chicago flavor, with players I saw break into the majors now retired and taking their place at Cooperstown.

I had the privilege of talking about all six honorees when sports radio fortunately was more about what happened on the field then off.

Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox gave us plenty of content to fill the airwaves. It wasn't always a bed of roses because they were human and had their ups and downs.

The Atlanta Braves were lucky enough to have two of their guys inducted Sunday. Even though "Mad Dog" Maddux was a stud, if I needed 1 win, I would take Glavine because of his power.

And only one of six left-handed pitchers with more than 300 wins? I can tell you Glavine did my television show back in the day at a local restaurant and was just an awesome guy.

Now Maddux had a competitiveness about him, and to accomplish what he did in the steroids era, especially painting the corners, made him one of the all-time greats.

Maddux didn't do a lot of media back then, but I remember talking to him on the Score. I asked him what it was like to be given a strike zone so big you would have trouble hitting him with a boat oar.

I never could get him on again after that. Not sure why!

I was pleased with Joe Torre's comments Sunday; I always felt the New York Yankees made him, and he stated as much. He also felt his failures prepared him for success, and that's a valuable lesson for all of us.

I've always thought Bobby Cox was underappreciated, but if he had won another World Series title he would be more highly regarded.

When La Russa was White Sox manager he was learning on the job. It didn't work out, and honestly Sox fans didn't shed many tears when he left.

Thomas had the greatest batting eye I've ever seen from a power hitter. His stats tell the story, plain and simple: 521 home runs and a .301 batting average.

There is no disputing there were some rocky roads for Thomas, with Kenny Williams, the fans, the media. But his emotional speech Sunday exposed a different guy to all of us.

There is one overwhelming similarity about all six new Hall of Famers: They were all brilliant.

Congratulations to them. If I was starting a team, my 25-man roster would include Maddux, Glavine and Thomas with any one of the three managers in charge.

Not too shabby!

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter @north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio, and check me out on iHeart radio or

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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