Smoltz induction highlights busy weekend

Smoltz induction highlights busy Braves weekend

Smoltz induction highlights busy weekend
ATLANTA -- Turner Field will be buzzing this weekend as the Braves celebrate Alumni Weekend and provide John Smoltz with the greatest honor bestowed upon their retired personnel.

Smoltz will be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame during a Friday afternoon luncheon and then have his No. 29 jersey retired before Friday night's series opener against the Blue Jays. Fans are urged to arrive early for the on-field ceremony, which will begin at 7 p.m. ET.

This marks the fourth straight year the Braves have provided this great honor to one of the key figures who helped them reach the World Series five times in the 1990s and win 14 consecutive division titles. Greg Maddux's No. 31 was retired in 2009 and Tom Glavine's 47 was bestowed the same honor the following summer. Longtime manager Bobby Cox, who wore No. 6, had his turn last year.

Along with celebrating Smoltz, the Braves will also take time this weekend to honor the 20th anniversary of their 1992 team that won the National League pennant before falling to the Blue Jays in the World Series. That club's entry to the Fall Classic was clinched when Sid Bream slid across home plate to complete a thrilling ninth-inning comeback win over the Pirates in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series.

Bream, Francisco Cabrera -- who delivered the walk-off hit -- and retired umpire Randy Marsh, who ruled Bream safe, will all be part of a pregame ceremony scheduled to begin at 3:40 p.m. ET on Saturday. Longtime Braves announcer Pete Van Wieren will host the ceremony.

The first 20,000 fans to arrive for Saturday's game will receive a bobblehead doll of the image of Bream sliding across the plate just ahead of Pirates catcher Mike LaValliere's tag.

There will also be a softball game staged between members of the 1992 team and other Braves alumni members at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Alumni members will also be available to sign autographs at various locations inside Turner Field before the games vs. Toronto on Friday and Sunday.

Bob Horner will make a rare visit to Turner Field to be part of this special weekend. Otis Nixon, Mark Wohlers and Denny Neagle are also scheduled to celebrate this weekend with Smoltz, Cox, Phil Niekro, Leo Mazzone, Rick Camp and many other alumni members.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.