John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves pitches during Game two of the National League Divisional Series against the San Fransisco Giants at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves won 7-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Braves will honor one of their "Big Three" pitchers from the last two decades in a ceremony in June.
The Atlanta Braves are coming off an epic collapse from last September, hoping to have a better season in 2012. Now, they want to remind you that not long ago, they had great players leading them to multiple postseasons.
From the official Braves Twitter account:
June 8 the Braves will induct John Smoltz into the Braves Hall of Fame at a luncheon and retire his #29 in a pregame ceremony.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 16, 2012
Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were at the top of a Braves rotation that dominated the 1990s and early 2000s. Later, Smoltz had to reinvent himself as a relief pitcher after Tommy John surgery cost him the entire 2000 season. He was so good at it that he led the NL in saves with 55 in his first full year as a closer in 2002, and that still stands as the league record for a single season (tied by Eric Gagne the following year).
Smoltz posted 154 career saves and 213 lifetime wins, along with 3,054 strikeouts; he and Dennis Eckersley are the only pitchers in MLB history to record more than 150 saves and 150 wins.
Maddux and Glavine are eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2014, and Smoltz in 2015; it's likely that all three will be enshrined, possibly on the first ballot.