John Smoltz facts for kids
Smoltz with the Braves in 2007
|Born: May 15, 1967
|July 23, 1988, for the Atlanta Braves|
|September 30, 2009, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||3.33|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||82.9% (first ballot)|
John Andrew Smoltz (born May 15, 1967), nicknamed "Smoltzie" and "Marmaduke," is an American former baseball pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1988 to 2009, all but the last year with the Atlanta Braves. An eight-time All-Star, Smoltz was part of a celebrated trio of starting pitchers, along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who propelled Atlanta to perennial pennant contention in the 1990s, highlighted by a championship in the 1995 World Series.
He won the National League (NL) Cy Young Award in 1996. Though predominantly known as a starter, Smoltz was converted to a reliever in 2001 after his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and spent four years as the team's closer before returning to a starting role. In 2002, he set the NL record with 55 saves and became only the second pitcher in history (joining Dennis Eckersley) to record both a 20-win season and a 50-save season. He is the only pitcher in major league history to record both 200 wins and 150 saves.
Smoltz was one of the most prominent pitchers in playoff history and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NL Championship Series. He also holds the Braves franchise record for career strikeouts (3,011), and the record for the most career games pitched for the Braves (708) since the club's move to Atlanta in 1966; from 2004 to 2014, he held the franchise record for career saves.
Smoltz left the Braves after 2008 and split his final season with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. Since retiring as a player, he has served as a color commentator and analyst on television. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, his first year of eligibility.
Images for kids
Fans at Turner Field stand and applaud after Smoltz's 3000th career strikeout on April 22, 2008
John Smoltz Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.