ATLANTA, Ga. - The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) announced today that former Braves pitcher John Smoltz has been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, along with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Craig Biggio. In his first year of eligibility, Smoltz was named on 82.9 percent (455-of-549) of the ballots cast in this year's election. The induction ceremonies will take place in Cooperstown, New York, on Sunday, July 26.
Smoltz, who wore a Braves uniform for 20 seasons from 1988 to 2008 (he missed the 2000 season due to right elbow surgery), will join former teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who were elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014. Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine anchored what was arguably the game's top starting rotation, as the Braves won 14 straight division titles from 1991 to 2005 and the 1995 World Series. Smoltz was the only player to be a part of each division championship.
An eight-time National League All-Star, Smoltz concluded his career with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals in 2009. He claimed the N.L. Cy Young Award in 1996, when we registered a 24-8 record with a 2.94 ERA and a league-leading 276 strikeouts, and was the winner of the 1997 Silver Slugger Award. In 2005, Smoltz was honored by Major League Baseball as the recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the MLB player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team."
The right-hander excelled as both a starter and as a reliever over a span of two decades. He is the only pitcher in Major League history with 200 or more wins and 150-plus saves. In 14 full seasons as a starter, Smoltz won 14 or more games 10 times. Twice, he led the N.L. or shared the lead in wins (1996 and 2006), innings pitched (1996 and 1997) and strikeouts (1992 and 1996). He ranked in the top 10 in ERA eight times.
Following "Tommy John" surgery that sidelined him for the 2000 campaign, Smoltz served as the Braves' closer for three-plus seasons. He set an N.L. record with 55 saves in 2002 and finished third in Cy Young Award voting. He joined Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley as the only two pitchers to record a 20-win season and a 50-save season, returned to the starting rotation in 2005. Smoltz became the 16th member of the 3,000- strikeout club on April 22, 2008. On the Braves' career lists, he ranks first in strikeouts (3,011), second in saves (154), third in games pitched (708) and fifth in wins (210).
In 41 postseason games with Atlanta, Smoltz was 15-4 with four saves a 2.67 ERA. His 15 postseason wins rank as the second-most in baseball history, while his 199 strikeouts are tops.
Smoltz's uniform number 29 was retired by the Braves in June 2012. His election brings the total number of former Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves players, managers and executives elected to the Hall of Fame to 51.