Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 4/16/12

The Atlanta Braves have announced this morning that on June 8th, they'll be retiring the #29 worn by starter John Smoltz, and inducting him into the team's Hall of Fame.

Smoltz spent 20 seasons with the Bravse, with only his final season away from the team (which was split between the Red Sox and Cardinals in a largely disastrous run). Smoltz won the 1996 Cy Young award, and finished his career with 213 wins, 154 saves, a 3.33 ERA, and 3074 strikeouts. He is the only pitcher in baseball history with 200 wins and 150 saves, and Dennis Eckersley is the only other pitcher with 150 wins and 150 strikeouts. Smoltz compares favorably to Eckersley, elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 2004. Smoltz has more wins, more saves, a better winning percentage, more innings pitched, more strikeouts, and a lower career ERA. Smoltz will likely be elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2015.

During his career, Smoltz's major claim to fame was as a part of the Atlanta Braves teams that won 14 consecutive division titles. For the majority of his tenure in Atlanta, Smoltz was part of a dominant Braves rotation that also featured Braves Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both of whom are eilgible for induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014. Maddux was elected to the Braves Hall of Fame and had his #31 retired in 2009, while Glavine and his #47 followed suit in 2010. The manager of those legendary Braves team Bobby Cox, was enshrined along with having his #6 retired in 2011. Cox will also likely be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, based on the new election procedures for managers and executives.


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