Smoltz with the Braves in 2007
|Born:May 15, 1967|
|July 23, 1988, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 30, 2009, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||3.33|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Vote||82.9% (first ballot)|
John Andrew Smoltz (born May 15, 1967), nicknamed "Smoltzie" –8, equaling the most victories by an NL pitcher since 1972. Though predominantly known as a starter, Smoltz was converted to a reliever in 2001 after his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and spent four years as the team's closer before returning to a starting role. In 2002, he set the NL record with 55 saves and became only the second pitcher in history (joining Dennis Eckersley) to record both a 20-win season and a 50-save season. He is the only pitcher in major league history to record both 200 wins and 150 saves.and "Marmaduke," is an American former baseball pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1988 to 2009, all but the last year with the Atlanta Braves. An eight-time All-Star, Smoltz was part of a celebrated trio of starting pitchers, along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who propelled Atlanta to perennial pennant contention in the 1990s, highlighted by a championship in the 1995 World Series. He won the National League (NL) Cy Young Award in 1996 after posting a record of 24
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.
Smoltz was one of the most prominent pitchers in playoff history, posting a record of 15–4 with a 2.67 earned run average (ERA) in 41 career postseason games, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NL Championship Series; Andy Pettitte later broke his record for career postseason wins. Smoltz led the NL in wins, winning percentage, strikeouts and innings pitched twice each, and his NL total of 3,084 strikeouts ranked fifth in league history when he retired. He also holds the Braves franchise record for career strikeouts (3,011), and the record for the most career games pitched for the Braves (708) since the club's move to Atlanta in 1966; from 2004 to 2014, he held the franchise record for career saves. Smoltz left the Braves after 2008 and split his final season with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. Since retiring as a player, he has served as a color commentator and analyst on television. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, his first year of eligibility.
In baseball statistics, earned run average (ERA) is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine. Runs resulting from defensive errors are recorded as unearned runs and omitted from ERA calculations.
The League Championship Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given in each of the two annual League Championship Series, for the American and National Leagues, to the player deemed to have the most impact on his team's performance. The award has been presented in the National League since 1977, and in the American League since 1980. Dusty Baker won the inaugural award in 1977 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Frank White won the first American League award in 1980 with the Kansas City Royals. The eight Hall of Famers to win LCS MVPs include Roberto Alomar, George Brett, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson, Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith, Willie Stargell, and John Smoltz.
Andrew Eugene Pettitte is an American former baseball starting pitcher who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), primarily for the New York Yankees. He also pitched for the Houston Astros. Pettitte won five World Series championships with the Yankees and was a three-time All-Star. He ranks as MLB's all-time postseason wins leader with 19.
John Smoltz was an All-State baseball and football player at Waverly High School in Lansing, Michigan, before the Detroit Tigers selected him in the 22nd round of the 1985 amateur draft.He was the 574th selection of the draft.
Waverly Senior High School or known just as Waverly High School is located in Waverly, Michigan, an unincorporated community in Delta Township. As of February 2013 the school had 1,060 students in 9th to 12th grade.
Lansing is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297, making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.
The Detroit Tigers are an American professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) Central division. One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit as a member of the minor league Western League in 1894 and is the only Western League team still in its original city. They are the oldest continuous one name, one city franchise in the AL. The Tigers have won four World Series championships, 11 AL pennants, and four AL Central division championships. The Tigers also won division titles in 1972, 1984, and 1987 as a member of the AL East. The team currently plays its home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit.
Smoltz played initially for the Class A Lakeland Tigers minor-league team, and then moved on to the Class AA Glens Falls Tigers in 1987, posting records of 7–8 and 4–10. On August 12, 1987, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves, where he played on their Class AAA Richmond Braves. The 1987 Tigers were in a three-team race, chasing the Toronto Blue Jays for the AL East division lead; in need of pitching help, Detroit sent their 20-year-old prospect to the Braves for 36-year-old veteran Doyle Alexander. While Alexander did help the Tigers overtake the Blue Jays for the division title, he was out of baseball by 1989. Smoltz, on the other hand, became one of the cornerstones of the Braves franchise for the next two decades.
The Glens Falls Tigers were an American minor league baseball team from Glens Falls, New York that played in the Eastern League from 1986 until 1988. The team was founded in 1980 as the Glens Falls White Sox, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. In 1986, the team affiliated with the Detroit Tigers and changed the team name to reflect the new affiliation. After the 1988 season, the franchise moved to London, Ontario and became the London Tigers in 1989. The franchise finally relocated to Trenton, New Jersey as the Trenton Thunder in 1994.
The Atlanta Braves are an American professional baseball franchise based in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The franchise competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League (NL) East division. The Braves played home games at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium from 1966 to 1996, and Turner Field from 1997 to 2016. Since 2017, their home stadium has been SunTrust Park, a new stadium 10 miles (16 km) northwest of downtown Atlanta in the Cumberland neighborhood of Cobb County. The Braves play spring training games at CoolToday Park in North Port, Florida.
The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Blue Jays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. The team plays its home games at the Rogers Centre.
Smoltz made his major league debut on July 23, 1988. He posted poor statistics in a dozen starts, but in 1989 Smoltz blossomed. In 29 starts, he recorded a 12–11 record and 2.94 ERA while pitching 208 innings, and was named to the NL All-Star team. Teammate Tom Glavine also had his first good year in 1989, raising optimism about the future of Atlanta's pitching staff.
Thomas Michael Glavine is an American retired professional baseball player. A pitcher, Glavine played in Major League Baseball for the Atlanta Braves, and New York Mets (2003-2007). He was the MVP of the 1995 World Series as the Braves beat the Cleveland Indians.
Over his career, Smoltz threw a four-seam fastball that was clocked as high as 98 miles per hour, a strong, effective slider and an 88–91 mph split-finger fastball that he used as a strikeout pitch. He also used a curveball and change-up on occasion, and in 1999, he began experimenting with both a knuckleball and a screwball, though he rarely used either in game situations.
The fastball is the most common type of pitch thrown by pitchers in baseball and softball. "Power pitchers," such as former American major leaguers Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens, rely on speed to prevent the ball from being hit, and have thrown fastballs at speeds of 95–105 miles per hour (153–169 km/h) (officially) and up to 108.1 miles per hour (174.0 km/h) (unofficially). Pitchers who throw more slowly can put movement on the ball, or throw it on the outside of home plate where batters can't easily reach it.
In baseball, a slider is a breaking ball pitch that tails laterally and down through the batter's hitting zone; it is thrown with less speed than a fastball but greater than the pitcher's curveball.
A split-finger fastball or splitter is a pitch in baseball derived from the forkball. It is named after the technique of putting the index and middle finger on different sides of the ball, or "splitting" them. When thrown hard, it appears to be a fastball to the batter, but as the pitch nears homeplate it then appears to the batter and observers to suddenly "drop off the table" towards home plate—that is, it suddenly moves downwards, towards the dirt. Despite the use of the word fastball, it is used as an off-speed pitch.
Smoltz began the 1991 season with a 2–11 record. He began seeing a sports psychologist, after which he closed out the season on a 12–2 pace,helping the Braves win a tight NL West race. His winning ways continued into the 1991 National League Championship Series. Smoltz won both his starts against the Pittsburgh Pirates, capped by a complete game shutout in the seventh game, propelling the Braves to their first World Series since moving to Atlanta in 1966. Smoltz had two no-decisions against the Minnesota Twins, with a 1.26 ERA. In the seventh and deciding game, he faced his former Detroit Tiger hero, Jack Morris. Both starters pitched shutout ball for seven innings, before Smoltz was removed from the 0–0 game during a Twins threat in the eighth. Atlanta reliever Mike Stanton pitched out of the jam, getting Smoltz off the hook, and Morris eventually pitched a 10-inning complete game victory.
The next year, Smoltz won 15 regular season games and was the MVP of the 1992 National League Championship Series, winning two games. He left the seventh game trailing, but ended up with a no-decision as the Braves mounted a dramatic ninth-inning comeback win. In the World Series that year, Smoltz started two of the six games in the series, with a no-decision in Game 2 and a win with the Braves facing elimination in Game 5.
Before the 1993 season, the Braves signed renowned control pitcher Greg Maddux, completing – along with Smoltz and Glavine – what many consider to be the most accomplished starting trio ever assembled on a single major-league team. Smoltz again won 15 games, but suffered his first postseason loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS despite not allowing an earned run.
Smoltz had a 6–10 record in the strike-shortened 1994 season, and during the break, had bone chips removed from his elbow.Returning as the Braves' No. 3 starter, he posted a 12–7 record in 1995. Smoltz had shaky postseason numbers, avoiding a decision despite a 6.60 ERA. But Smoltz and the Braves won the franchise's only World Series in Atlanta, thanks in great part to Maddux and Glavine, who had begun to overshadow Smoltz.
The next season, 1996, was the best of Smoltz's career. He went 24–8 with a 2.94 ERA and 276 strikeouts, including winning a franchise-record 14 straight decisions from April 9 to June 19.He won the NL Cy Young Award with 26 of the 28 first-place votes. Smoltz's effectiveness in 1997 was only slightly less than his Cy Young season, but frugal run support limited him to a 15–12 record. Smoltz also received a Silver Slugger Award for his batting.
Smoltz continued to post excellent statistics in 1998 and 1999, but he was spending significant time on the disabled list and missed about a quarter of his starts. In 1999, Smoltz began experimenting with both a knuckleball and a three-quarters delivery, though he rarely used either in game situations.
He underwent Tommy John surgery before the 2000 season, and missed the entire year.When he was unable to perform effectively as a starter in 2001, Smoltz made a transition to the bullpen, filling a void as Atlanta's new closer down the stretch, replacing John Rocker.
In 2002, his first full season as a closer, Smoltz set a National League record with 55 saves, topping the previous mark of 53 shared by Randy Myers (1993) and Trevor Hoffman (1998). Smoltz finished third in the Cy Young Award voting; Éric Gagné equaled his record a year later with the Dodgers. Injuries limited Smoltz slightly in 2003, but he still recorded 45 saves with a 1.12 ERA in 64⅓ innings pitched. In 2004, Smoltz finished with 44 saves, but was frustrated with his inability to make an impact as a closer during another Braves' postseason loss. That year, he broke Gene Garber's franchise record of 141 career saves; his final total of 154 saves was eventually surpassed by Craig Kimbrel in 2014.
By this point, Smoltz was all that remained of the once-dominant Atlanta Braves' rotation of the 1990s. Tom Glavine had moved on to play for the Mets, a divisional rival, while Greg Maddux returned to his old team, the Chicago Cubs.
After three years as one of baseball's most dominating closers, the team's management agreed to return Smoltz to the starting rotation before the 2005 season. His renewed career as a starter began inauspiciously. He allowed six earned runs in only 12⁄3 innings—matching the shortest starts of his career—as the Braves were blown out on Opening Day by the Marlins. Poor run support contributed to an 0–3 start despite stronger pitching performances by Smoltz. After these initial difficulties, though, things fell into place. At the All-Star break, Smoltz was 9–5 with an ERA of 2.68 and was chosen for the 2005 NL All-Star team. Smoltz gave up a solo home run to Miguel Tejada in the second inning of the American League's 7–5 victory and was charged with the loss. For his career, he was 1–2 in All-Star games, putting him in a tie for the most losses.
Smoltz finished 2005 at 14–7, with a 3.06 ERA and 169 strikeouts while allowing less than one hit per inning. Smoltz had answered the critics who doubted he would be able to reach the 200-inning plateau after three years in the bullpen. Nonetheless, Smoltz's increased workload caused him to wear down toward the end of the season.
Despite a sore shoulder, Smoltz pitched seven innings in the Braves' 7–1 win over the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the 2005 NL Division Series; it was the only game the Braves won in the series against the eventual National League champions. The victory over Houston gave Smoltz a 13–4 record as a starter (15–4 overall) with a 2.65 ERA in the postseason. He has the second most postseason wins (15) behind only Andy Pettitte with 19. They are followed by Glavine (14) and Maddux (11).
In 2006, Smoltz finished the season with a record of 16–9, an ERA of 3.49, and 211 strikeouts. He was one of four pitchers tied for the NL lead in wins, and was third in strikeouts. The fact that the Braves bullpen blew six of Smoltz's leads in 2006 robbed him of a strong chance at a 20-win season.
On September 21, 2006, the Braves announced they had picked up Smoltz's $8 million contract option for the 2007 season. On April 26, 2007, Smoltz agreed to a contract extension with the Braves. The extension includes a $14 million salary for the 2008 season, a $12 million vesting option for 2009 dependent on his ability to pitch 200 innings in 2008 and a $12 or $13 million team option for 2010 dependent on his ability to pitch 200 innings in 2009.
2007 was a year of reunions and milestones for Smoltz. On May 9, he faced Maddux for the first time since July 10, 1992. Smoltz earned a win in a 3–2 victory over the San Diego Padres; Maddux received no decision. On May 24, exactly 11 years to the day after recording his 100th win, Smoltz recorded his 200th win against Glavine.He faced Glavine three other times, faring 3–1 overall against him. On June 27, Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux each recorded wins on the same day. On August 19, Smoltz set the Braves strikeout record by striking out the Arizona Diamondbacks' Mark Reynolds. It was his 2,913th strikeout, passing Phil Niekro on the club' all-time list; he struck out a season-high 12 in the game. He finished the year 14–8 with a 3.11 ERA and 197 strikeouts. The stalwart pitcher was the only holdover on the Braves roster from their 1991 worst-to-first season until Glavine returned to the Braves after an absence of several years following the 2007 season.
On April 22, 2008, Smoltz became the 16th pitcher in major-league history to reach 3,000 career strikeouts, and the fourth pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters for one team, joining Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton.
On April 28, 2008, Smoltz was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to an inflamed right shoulder.
On May 1, 2008, Smoltz indicated that he intended to return to being a relief pitcher. After coming off the disabled list on June 2, 2008, he blew his first save opportunity in three years. Two days later, the Braves placed him back on the disabled list. Smoltz underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on June 10, 2008.His contract expired at the end of the season, and the contract offer from the Braves was not sufficient to keep him.
In December 2008, several members of the Boston Red Sox organization, including pitching coach John Farrell, vice president of player personnel Ben Cherington and assistant trainer Mike Reinold, flew to Atlanta to participate in a 90-minute workout with Smoltz. Throwing for only the second time since having surgery on a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder, he threw a 50-pitch side session and showcased not only his tremendous progress since the surgery, but an arsenal of well-developed pitches which made him so successful throughout his career. He impressed the Red Sox enough during the workout that less than a month later, a one-year contract was offered by the organization.
On January 13, 2009, Smoltz signed a one-year contract with the Red Sox for a reported base salary of $5.5 million with roster time incentives and miscellaneous award incentives which could net as much as $10 million. He made his first start in the Red Sox rotation on June 25, allowing seven hits and five runs through five innings. Smoltz posted a 2–5 record over eight games with an 8.32 ERA and no quality starts. He was designated for assignment on August 7 after a 13–6 loss to the New York Yankees, giving the Red Sox ten days to release or trade him, or send him to the minors. The Red Sox offered Smoltz a minor league stint in order to prepare him to be placed in the bullpen, but he rejected the offer. On August 17, the Red Sox released Smoltz.
On August 19, 2009, Smoltz signed with the St. Louis Cardinals; he made his debut against the Padres on August 23. In his first game for the Cardinals, he went five innings, striking out nine and walking none, while setting a Cardinals franchise record by striking out seven batters in a row.
That win against the Padres with the Cardinals was his only win with St. Louis that season. Smoltz finished 1–3 with an ERA of 4.26 with the Cardinals. He was 3–8 with an ERA of 6.35 overall with the Red Sox and Cardinals. In Game 3 of the 2009 NL Division Series, Smoltz pitched two innings of relief in a losing cause, allowing four hits and an earned run while striking out five.
|John Smoltz's number 29 was retired by the Atlanta Braves in 2012.|
On April 16, 2012, the Braves announced that they would retire Smoltz's number 29.The ceremony, which took place before the June 8 game against the Toronto Blue Jays, included speeches by former broadcaster Pete van Wieren, former teammate Matt Diaz and former manager Bobby Cox.
In 2008 and 2010, Smoltz served as a color analyst alongside Joe Simpson for Braves games on Peachtree TV. Nationally, Smoltz has been an analyst for MLB Network and called regular-season and postseason games for TBS.In 2014, he was hired by Fox Sports as a game analyst. He was paired with Matt Vasgersian and called games in the No. 2 booth. He has also joined Fox Sports South and SportSouth to be an analyst for select Braves games during the 2014 season. Smoltz replaced Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, his colleagues from MLB Network, as the lead analyst for Major League Baseball on Fox for the 2016 season, teaming up with Joe Buck.
Smoltz was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2015.He was the first starting pitcher since 1987 to be elected despite having fewer than 250 wins and only one Cy Young Award, and the first such starter ever elected on the first ballot.
Smoltz met his first wife Dyan Struble at the Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta; the couple had four children before divorcing in 2007 after 16 years of marriage.Smoltz lives in Alpharetta, Georgia and also has a home at Sea Island, a golf resort. On May 16, 2009, Smoltz married Kathryn Darden at his home with 70 friends and family in attendance. Smoltz is a Christian.
Smoltz is a good friend of pro golfer Tiger Woods, the two often play golf together.Woods has stated that Smoltz is the best golfer outside of the PGA Tour that he has seen. Smoltz has stated that he once had a plus 4 handicap. In 2018, Smoltz qualified for the U.S. Senior Open, one of senior golf's major championships. He is also involved in the sport of bowling.
Smoltz plays every year in the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe. He won the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Orlando in January, 2019.
Smoltz counts Doc Rivers as a personal friend dating back to Rivers' playing days in Atlanta. In the January 12, 2008 edition of the Boston Globe , Rivers is quoted as saying, "I offered him my apartment... I just told him about Terry and the Red Sox organization. I told him it's a no-brainer."
Smoltz is also an accomplished accordionist and has starred in a television commercial for The Home Depot.
Smoltz is a distant cousin of baseball Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer.
Smoltz produced an automated campaign phone recording on behalf of the candidacy of Ralph E. Reed, Jr. for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia during the 2006 primary.
In a 2004 interview, Smoltz was quoted as comparing the legalization of gay marriage with bestiality, saying "What’s next? Marrying an animal?" per the Associated Press. Smoltz later stated the article had portrayed his quote inaccurately.
It was speculated that Smoltz might run for Congress in 2010 as a Republican candidate to fill the departing John Linder's seat in Georgia's 7th congressional district.
On April 22, 2012, Smoltz hosted a fundraiser for Andrea Cascarilla, a Democratic candidate for State Representative in Michigan's 71st House District.The 71st District encompasses Waverly Senior High School, where Smoltz was an All-State baseball and basketball player.
Smoltz and his good friend Jeff Foxworthy teamed up for the charity event "An Evening With Smoltz and Friends" on November 9, 2008 at the Verizon Amphitheater in Alpharetta to raise money for the John Smoltz Foundation, which has supported numerous charitable endeavors in the Atlanta area over the past decade.
Smoltz is the Atlanta host for Big League Impact, an eight-city fantasy football network created and led by longtime Cardinals pitcher and former teammate Adam Wainwright. In 2015, the organization raised more than $1 million for various charitable organizations.
Gregory Alan Maddux is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher. Maddux is best known for his accomplishments while playing for the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs. With the Braves, he won the 1995 World Series over the Cleveland Indians. The first to achieve a number of feats and records, he was the first pitcher in major league history to win the Cy Young Award for four consecutive years (1992–1995), matched by only one other pitcher, Randy Johnson. During those four seasons, Maddux had a 75–29 record with a 1.98 earned run average (ERA), while allowing less than one baserunner per inning.
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Leo David Mazzone is a former pitcher in minor league baseball and pitching coach in Major League Baseball. He worked with the Atlanta Braves' organization from 1979 to 2005 and was the pitching coach for the Baltimore Orioles from 2006 to 2007. He is currently the Special Pitching Advisor for the Furman University Baseball program.
Aaron Michael Harang is an American former professional baseball starting pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Atlanta Braves.
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Marvin Freeman is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1986 to 1996 for the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies. He worked as both a starting pitcher and a reliever in his career.
The 1991 Atlanta Braves season was the 26th in Atlanta and the 121st overall. They became the first team in the National League to go from last place one year to first place the next. This feat was also accomplished by the 1991 Minnesota Twins. The last Major League Baseball team to accomplish this was the 1890 Louisville Colonels of the American Association.
The 1995 Atlanta Braves season was the 125th season in the history of the franchise and 30th season in the city of Atlanta. The team finished the strike-shortened season with a record of 90–54, the best in the National League, en route to winning the World Series. For the sixth straight season, the team was managed by Bobby Cox.
The 1996 Atlanta Braves season was the 126th season in the history of the franchise and 31st season in the city of Atlanta. They secured a regular season record of 96-66 and reached the World Series, where it lost to the New York Yankees in six games, failing to defend its championship in 1995. Despite taking a 2-0 lead the Braves unexpectedly lost the next 4 games. This World Series appearance was their fourth appearance in the last 5 years as a franchise. Atlanta won its seventh division title and its fifth in six years. In the previous round, Atlanta completed a miraculous comeback. After trailing in the NLCS to St. Louis three games to one, Atlanta outscored St. Louis 32-1 in games five through seven to complete the comeback. The collapse was remembered as one of the largest in North American sports history.
The 2001 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 36th season in Atlanta and 131st overall. The Braves won their tenth consecutive division title. The season saw the team finish first in the NL East Division with an 88-74 record – the worst among playoff teams in 2001, and also the worst record for the Braves since 1990. Atlanta finished the season with just a 2 game division lead over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 2000 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 35th season in Atlanta along with the 125th season in the National League and 130th overall. The Braves won their ninth consecutive division title, however, the 2000 season would mark the first time since 1990 that the Braves did not appear in the National League Championship Series. One of the highlights of the season was that the All-Star Game was held at Turner Field in Atlanta.
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The Big Three was a trio of Major League Baseball starting pitchers for the Atlanta Braves from 1993-2002 which consisted of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz. The Big Three combined to win six National League Cy Young Awards in the 1990s and helped lead the Atlanta Braves to a 1995 World Series win. Each member of the Big Three has had their jersey retired by the Atlanta Braves and has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
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Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci
| Lead color commentator, Major League Baseball on Fox |