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John Smoltz is a Cy Young winner and future hall of fame pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. We met him at Marlins Stadium during Atlanta’s last road trip to South Florida.

Can you tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
Yes, not a lot of people know that I played the accordion when I was 4-7 years old. And then I played the drums from 7-10. But then at 10 years old I asked my Mom and Dad if I could put it all away and play sports. I come from a musical family.

 If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would that word be?

 What was your most exciting moment as a kid?
One of the most exciting moments as a kid was being at the 1984 Tiger’s World Series clinching game 6 or maybe it was 7 when they won it all. I was a huge Tiger fan and I got to go. They were throwing grass up in the stands. I brought the grass home and grew it in my backyard.

 When you were a kid, did you have a crush on anyone?
Daisy from the show the Dukes of Hazzard.

 What was your favorite moment playing baseball?
Believe it or not, in high school at my last at bat, I hit a walk off home run to win our tournament, Diamond Classic Tournament. The last swing of my high school career was a game winning home run.

 Have the Major Leagues changed since you were a rookie, how?
Oh yeah. It’s changed dramatically. It’s changed in the pay scale from the ball parks to the strike zones. You name it. It’s changed.

 Is it different pitching to Barry Bonds?
Yes it is. It’s the most difficult thing next there to Ablert Puljos. Every hitter has a hole or a weakness that you can exploit for the most part. When Barry is going good, there’s no weakness. You got to get lucky. Obviously when he hit 73 home runs, not too many people got lucky.

 Do you have any superstitions that cause you to do anything before or after a game?
It’s kind of pitcher’s thing. The one thing you don’t do is step on the line when you walk out there for whatever reason. But I’ve done it before.

 What was your most embarrassing sports moment?
I’ve had a few. Last year in this stadium. I was so excited. I flew people down. I was coming back from closer to starter. I was making my debut on opening day against the Marlins and I lasted 1 and 2/3 inninngs and gave up eight runs. So I waited four years to do that.

 What’s the funniest or strangest thing that ever happened to you on the baseball field?
One game, it wasn’t going real well. I was frustrated and I went to snatch the ball back from the umpire throwing the ball to me and I missed it and it hit me right on top of the head. Of course, everybody saw that and it had to be replayed a bunch of times.

 Do you have any pets.
I have three; two Wheaton Terriers, Brownie and Lilly and then a cat, named Stormy. I was not a cat lover until I got this cat for my oldest boy. It’s the coolest cat in the world, the greatest cat and if all cats were like this I’d have a different appreciation of cats.

 How do you deal with being away from your family?
I have four children and a beautiful wife so the more I play the more difficult it becomes. I deal with it by making sure when I do get to be with them that I enjoy the moment.

 What’s the best part of being a Dad?
Absolutely getting to see the development of your children and trying to teach them character and morals different from what the world teaches. I get to teach them to be different and their own and more importantly how to respect other people.

 What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
The oldest will be some kind of scientist, lawyer, historian, totally different than I could think of. I could see my daughter running some kind of daycare or being a teacher. My younger daughter could be a dancer or a singer. And my youngest daughter is six and the verdict’s still out.

 If you had one wish, what would it be?
That there would be no starvation.


Tell something your mother always told you as a kid.
If I ever wanted to anything at all to not let someone else determine it. She wanted me to do it right in my house.

 What do you think is the funniest sounding word?
Pimple comes to mind




MOVIE-Dumb and Dumber

TOY AS KID-I had a train that I could sit on and ride around a track



Video game-Galaga


DRINK-Any soda

PRESIDENT-Bush, because of all the flack he’s taking

RIDE AT DISNEYWORLD-thunder Mountain Railroad


Car-I’ve had it for ten years, my 540 BMW

Room in the House-Basement theatre


What advice do you have for kids about making their dreams come true?
You have to have a dream. Practice, sacrifice, work at it, dream and don’t let anybody else deter you from those dreams.

Who did you look up to as a kid and why?
I was a big Detroit Tiger fan so I liked everybody on the Tigers. But the guy I admired in the game of baseball and outside the game of baseball was Dale Murphy. I got a chance to play with him and he represented the game about as good as anybody I can ever think of and I hope I follow in his footsteps.

What was your most embarrassing moment as a kid?
One of the most embarrassing, I was running around our ping pong table in the basement and ended up breaking my toe hitting the corner and ended up missing some basketball games. I felt pretty foolish when they asked me how I broke my toe.

What’s it like to be booed and how do you deal with it?
I have been booed and I tell you what, I use it as a motivation. Booing is an option just like cheering. One thing I’ve learened to do is not get too carried away with success and not get too down about failure. It makes me better.

Did you get along with your siblings? Did you ever fight with them?
My brother and my sister are a year apart and we got along well. My brother and I only had one fight and I never messed with my sister. She was pretty tough. We’re a close family and growing up they were two great admirers and fans with me playing most of the sports so they were truly great.

How did you feel when you found out that you had to have surgery on your arm?
There really wasn’t anything I could do about it so I had to trust that it was going to work out. It wasn’t in my hands. I never felt doubt whatsoever. Once I had the surgery I was determined to get back.

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