May 28th, 2012
By John Smoltz, with Don Yaeger
I have always liked John Smoltz, even way back when he was a starter, then a closer, and then a starter, for the Atlanta Braves, during their amazing run of 11 division titles though a good deal of the 90’s.
So when he signed with the Sox in 2009, I was uber excited, as I hoped that some of the great mojo the only pitcher in history with 200 wins and 150 saves, and a member of the 3,000 strike club.
Disappointingly, we all know he didn’t far well with the Sox (In 8 games he went 2–5 with an 8.32 ERA), and was released in August. He then went on to sign with the Cardinals, and fared a bit better with them (1-3 with a 4.26 ERA) and even helped them in the 2009 NLDS, pitching 2 innings in relief….After the 2009 season, Smoltz retired, and now works as an analyst for MLB. TV.
So when I was offered the opportunity to read his autobiography, I was excited to do so. And while I was expecting the “insiders guide to baseball”, Starting and Closing is SO much more than just a baseball book.
John Smoltz is a super well rounded guy. He was an accordion player when he was a young boy, and is still very good, he is a deeply religious man, who helped start a Christian School in Georgia. He is an avid golfer, and hopes to become a professional golfer at some point…and is he also is a very good bowler!
And while the book primarily focuses on his last season of professional baseball in 2009, when he played for the Red Sox and the Cardinals, he talks about his whole career, and how he overcame odds at every turn, and only through his faith and his complete unwillingness to never give up, was he as successful as he was.
He also offers his thoughts on the sport, and even his own insight as to what may have happened to the Red Sox during their meltdown of 2011.
A very well written book, by a well spoken man, who lived, breathed, and ate outside of the box, and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read
Available where all good books are sold, Starting and Closing is the perfect Father’s Day gift for that Atlanta Braves fan in your life, for someone who enjoys reading great baseball stories, or wants to read a story of inspiration and perspiration. Check it out!