Top 10 Braves of All Time: Number 8

Posted on Jun 1 2015 - 1:25pm by Chase Irle

Coming in at number 8 on our list of the greatest Braves of all time is the only player in MLB History with 200 career victories and 150 career saves, John Smoltz. Smoltz was a figure in the Braves organization for a ridiculous 20 years from 1988-2008. He came into the organization as a starter and made his first of 8 All-Star appearances in his second season with a 12-11 record and a 2.94 ERA. His most glorious year as a starter came in 1996. Smoltz posted a 24-8 record with a 2.94 ERA and an unbelievable 276 strikeouts in 253.2 innings. Smoltz received 26 of the possible 28 first place votes on his way to his first and only CY Young Award. Smoltz underwent Tommy John Surgery prior to the 2000 season and spent the entire year on the disabled list. He came back down the stretch of 2001 as a closer. In 2002, Smoltz’s first full season as a closer, he had perhaps his second best season as a Braves. Smoltz closed 55 games and finished 3rd in the CY Young voting. Smoltz returned to the rotation in 2005 and posted a 14-7 record with a 3.06 ERA. His last full season with the Braves was in 2007 and then had short stints with both the Red Sox and the Cardinals. Smoltz was inducted to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Smoltz career as a Brave was spectacular, and if it was not for the loads of great players that have come through this organization he would be much higher. You can now occasionally see John in the Braves’ broadcast booth. 

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  1. Chip June 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    8 seems a little far down the list. You forget that he was one of the greatest playoff pitchers ever posting a record 15 wins, the only pitcher to post over 200 wins and 150 saves and was a first ballet all-star. It will be interesting to see the 7 ahead of him.

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