Throughout his career, he battled through injuries and did not let that stop him from being a dominant pitcher. Even after his playing career finished, he continues to be a prominent person in baseball.
John Smoltz MLB career
Smoltz began his MLB career in 1988 with the Atlanta Braves. In his first season at 21-years-old, he pitched in 12 games and started every single one. He struggled in his first season, finishing with an overall record of 2-7 with a 5.48 ERA. The next season, Smoltz improved tremendously. Coming into the 1989 season, Smoltz found himself back in the starting rotation. He started in 29 games and finished with a 12-11 record with a 2.94 ERA. He threw five complete games, and he was selected to play in his first all-star game.
Over the next few seasons, Smoltz continued to pitch at a high-level as a top guy in the Braves’ starting rotation. He was selected to the all-star game in back to back seasons during the 1992 and 1993 season. In 1995, he helped the Braves win a World Series title defeating the Cleveland Indians. The next season Smoltz had one of the best seasons of his career. He finished the 1996 season with a 24-8 record and won the National League Cy Young award. His 24 wins also led the National League, and he was selected to his fourth all-star game.
Smoltz spent the majority of his career playing for the Braves and was a fan favorite. He was a part of some outstanding pitching rotations that included himself, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddox. Just to think that those three pitchers were on the same team is a nightmare of opposing teams.
Looking back at John Smoltz’s career
Smoltz was one of the best starting pitchers in the league during his career. When Smoltz was on the mound, his team knew they had a good chance of winning the game. He missed the entire 2000 season due to an injury but was able to battle through the injury and return to the mound.
Smoltz still had success late in his career. He led the National League in wins during the 2006 season with 16, and he also led the National League with 35 starts. He was 39 at the time, but he continued to go out there and pitch at a high-level. Smoltz’s last time playing in Atlanta was in 2008. Smoltz was dominant as a starting pitcher and as a relief man. In 2002 he won the National League Rolaids Relief Man award and led the National League in saves that season with 55. He accomplished a lot throughout his career, and he was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame and had his No. 29 jersey retired by the Braves.
John Smoltz’s career after playing
Smoltz continued to stay around the game of baseball after he finished playing. In 2008 and 2010, he served as a color analyst with Joe Simpson covering Braves games for Peachtree TV. Smoltz has also been an analyst for MLB Network and has called regular-season and postseason games for TBS.
Smoltz has been featured on Fox, where he has covered games and served as an analyst. He continues to be a big name in the baseball community, and he is well-respected by current and former players.