Tom Glavine tells TMZ Sports he was thiiiis close to playing in the NHL back when he was drafted by the Kings in 1984, but decided to commit to hardball instead thanks to one awesome physical abnormality.
The 2x Cy Young winner -- who was considered one of the top hockey prospects in the country back in the day -- was actually drafted WAYYY ahead of Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille.
But outside LAX, the soon-to-be MLB Hall of Famer told us he realized he had a much bigger advantage on land because his left hand was more valuable on the pitcher's mound.
Tom says he doesn't regret his decision -- duh -- but admits he missed competing on ice.
Still, Tom tells us he enjoys rubbing his NHL draft superiority in Hull and Robitaille's faces ... but they made it to their Hall of Fame first ... so, who's laughing now?