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John Smoltz in the house!

He's a good sport, that Smoltz

He's a good sport, that Smoltz

It’s Take a (Former) Brave to Work Day here at the AJC!

Pitching great John Smoltz paid us a visit while making the rounds to promote a partnership between SunTrust, MasterCard and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

After stopping by our new Perimeter digs he was off to deliver a huge haul of toys to the kids at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s.

Faith-based philanthropy has always been a huge focus for Smoltz, a North Fulton husband and father who was the guiding force behind Kings Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta and today coaches its girls’ basketball team.

Smoltz first visited children’s hospitals while on a 1988 Braves caravan around the state to engage fans, and said he still visits every chance he gets, all these years later.

He had a lot on his mind, including the time a rumor started that he was running for governor. "I thought it was joke! I thought I was getting punked!"

He had a lot on his mind, including the time a rumor started that he was running for governor. "I thought it was joke! I thought I was getting punked!"

Since retiring, he has made the transition from player to broadcaster, saying it was a bit awkward at first.

“It was strange to do an interview with Bobby [Cox]; it was strange to walk into the [Braves] clubhouse, but people got used to it,” Smoltz said. He suited up recently for a cameo in “The Change Up,” the Ryan Reynolds-Jason Bateman flick that filmed a huge scene at Turner Field and cast Smoltz as a pitching coach.

“Putting on the uniform was kind of weird,” Smoltz. “It still fit!”

2011 is shaping up to be another busy year for Smoltz, who said he is toying with the idea of writing a book. “I had the time of my life,” he said, reflecting on his career as a player. And he mentioned that his wife, Kathryn, said that might be a nice title for an autobiography.

Check back later for video clips of his visit with us and with the kids at Children’s.

By Jennifer Brett, jbrett@ajc.com, @AJCBuzz

14 comments Add your comment

Matt

December 8th, 2010
1:01 pm

I probably would have voted for Smoltz over Deal or Barnes, that’s for sure.

First?

corrigo

December 8th, 2010
1:21 pm

i didnt like the way smoltz stewed after leaving the braves, but i am over it. i like him now (for all those that care – yeah right!)

myrtle brown

December 8th, 2010
2:27 pm

john was always a favorite of mine. Wish him luck in whatever he endeavors. A good up-standing citizen who does great charity work.

Jeff

December 8th, 2010
2:57 pm

Smoltz’s breakup with the Braves was painful, but to me he is still an Atlanta icon. I remember going to several Braves games when he was the closer, and the electricity in the air as he came out was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. As Matt said, I would have trusted him with Ga LONG before I would trust Barnes or Deal.

Good luck Smoltz, and enjoy your retirement. I think you’d have a very interesting autobiography, and I can guarantee you at least one sale if you write it.

Bob from Accounttemps

December 8th, 2010
3:52 pm

He’s also a pretty good sportscaster. I really enjoyed his commentary during the season. Yes, it was a tough departure, but the Braves were telling him what he didn’t want to hear. I’m glad he’s still around and hope he sticks around for a long while. I suspect he’s just biding his time until he turns 50 and can play on the Champions Tour! He’ll clean up there, too.

Mike Lum

December 8th, 2010
4:36 pm

He’s OK in the booth…but the jokes were pretty bad. Joe Simpson loved to belittle Smoltz’s corny sense of humor.

Lauren

December 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

He was at our church in Loganville on Sunday. The Braves’ former chaplain is the new preacher. Great guest.

Marie

December 8th, 2010
4:51 pm

I always looked forward to your jokes – too funny!!!!
Great guy.

Donna Lord

December 8th, 2010
4:52 pm

I love John Smoltz so much. I named my white Schnauzer Smoltz after him.

dcb

December 8th, 2010
7:06 pm

Come ‘on Matt, don’t give Smoltz any ideas about getting into politics. I agree that almost anyone would have been a better candidate for Georgia governor than Deal or Barnes. But Smoltz with his big mouth and tendency to bite the hand that feeds would be a stretch.

Thomas

December 8th, 2010
8:29 pm

An outstanding human!

He is actually a cranky guy and just doing this for the HOF recognition

December 9th, 2010
6:42 am

Good for John, perhaps he has changed and is a genuine person but the couple of times I have run into him or heard things, he appeared to be a brute and selfish

Don't Ax. Don't Tell.

December 9th, 2010
6:50 am

I like John Smoltz MUCH MORE than Jeff Schultz or even Mark Bradley, but especially Jeff Schultz.

dre

December 9th, 2010
8:27 am

What makes him an outstanding human? That he seeks publicity for charity work? Jeez!