BBHOF Profile: John Smoltz

mlb_ourhof_13The Atlanta Braves have had a good run in the last two years and it has come thanks to one of the most dominant periods in their history.

The 1990s and early 2000s were great in Atlanta as the Braves were the best team in the National League West and eventually east when the MLB divided into three divisions per league.

From 1991 until 2005 the Braves lost only one division title race in one of the longest runs in MLB history.

They were the team to beat in both of their divisions and took home a World Series title in 1995.

The main reason for this dominance during this time was the group that they assembled on the mound.

The main part of that group of pitchers were two pitchers who spent most of their careers with the Braves along with another pitcher added to create a devastating trio.

There was Greg Maddux who had won a Cy Young award before being added to the Braves pitching staff that rounded out the trio.

There was Tom Glavine who was drafted by the Braves and brought up through the minor leagues until he made his debut in 1987.

Both Maddux and Glavine were added to the hallowed halls of Cooperstown last year when they were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The third of the triplets was John Smoltz who was drafted originally by the Detroit Tigers but never played a game with the team.

Instead he was traded away in 1987 when the Tigers tried to find pitching help for a division run and gave away a 20-year old Smoltz for veteran pitcher Doyle Alexander.

The next season Smoltz made his first start in what ended up being a 21 year career, Alexander left the league after only one more season with the Tigers.

Now Smoltz will enter the Baseball Hall of Fame alongside his partners in one of the greatest rotations in MLB history.

Each pitcher played their own role in the rotation and all made their mark on the league to earn their spot in the Hall of Fame.smoltz

For Smoltz that role was the power pitcher who threw big fastballs and loved to strike people out.

With a total of 3,084 strikeouts, Smoltz overpowered batters and ranks at #16 in the all-time strikeout list, Maddux has more but did it with his control rather than power.

Smoltz served that power pitcher role great and earned himself a Cy Young award in 1996, which capped off a six-year run where the trio earned the award, although Maddux won in 1992 as a Cub.

They were a group that provided some of the most dominant performances through the 1990s and accounted for seven Cy Young Awards from 1990 to 1999.

Last year two of the three pillars of that pitching staff earned a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Both Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were members of the class of 2014 and now they will be joined by the last member of that trio.

In his first year of eligibility, Smoltz enters the hall alongside his stable mates and he will do so very deservingly.

Along with his Cy young award, Smoltz brings 8 All-Star appearances and a career ERA of 3.33 making him a legitimate member of the hall and a true first ballot hall of famer.

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