Neither of the two were physically imposing off the mound or overpowering on it. And so, the mild-mannered Braves pitching duo of unassuming Greg Maddux and eloquent Tom Glavine didn’t project nastiness that made first-ballot Hall of Famers like Nolan Ryan or Bob Gibson so revered.

But those who played alongside Maddux and Glavine in Atlanta saw sides of their personalities not often revealed publicly. Toughness and intensity to go with all that keen intellect. Traits that helped make each a multiple Cy Young Award winner and will surely make each a first-ballot inductee at Cooperstown when the next Hall of Fame class is announced Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Maddux and Glavine are expected to head up a heavily Braves-flavored Cooperstown class that could have three or four elected players – Frank Thomas and Craig Biggio are also considered strong candidates – to go with the three retired managers who were already selected including Bobby Cox, the skipper in Atlanta for 25 years including the 1993-2002 period when Maddux and Glavine combined for 347 wins.

Maddux got 194 of his 355 career wins and three of four
consecutive Cy Young Awards during 11 seasons with the Braves after coming over from the Cubs. Widely regarded as one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history, “Mad Dog” could seriously threaten the record for highest percentage of Hall of Fame votes -- Tom Seaver’s 98.84 percent in 1992.

“You’ve got to be an idiot not to have (Maddux) as a unanimous pick,” said Leo Mazzone, the former Braves pitching coach. “The greatest control of any pitcher I’ve ever seen. He put it on a gnat’s ass better than anybody I’ve ever seen.”

No one has ever been a unanimous pick by the Baseball Writers Association of America -- an absurd fact. Not Babe Ruth (95.1 percent), not Willie Mays (94.7), not Hank Aaron (97.8), not Ted Williams (93.4), not anybody. And yes, as a BBWAA member, I find that embarrassing.