John Smoltz exhaled heavily and shook his head minutes after his No. 29 was retired by the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.
''I'm glad that's over,'' Smoltz said. ''That's a doubleheader I just pitched.''
Smoltz said he wasn't prepared for the emotions he felt when the Braves made his number the ninth to be retired by the franchise.
''Honestly, I thought I was going to lose it when I started talking about playing for the jersey,'' Smoltz said. ''That's something I hope more people can take pride in, wearing a jersey. For some people it's just a jersey. For me it was my life.''
Former manager Bobby Cox called Smoltz ''the biggest of the big-game pitchers.'' As general manager, Cox acquired Smoltz from the Detroit Tigers in 1987 for Doyle Alexander.
Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were the leaders of a terrific pitching staff that helped the Braves win 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005 and the 1995 World Series. Smoltz was the only player to be a part of each division...