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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AJCBuzz