5 Things You May Not Know About Newly Inducted Hall of Famer, Lansing Native John Smoltz
Congratulations to formerly Lansingite John Smoltz, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame today!
Smoltz had a magnificent career as a starting pitcher, then reinventing himself as a closer after some injuries, then returning to starting.
But did you know his first nickname was after a well-known comic strip?
Or that he plays the accordion?
Here are some more facts about the newest Hall of Famer.
Smoltz was born in Warren, Mich. But he began his prolific baseball career as an All-State player at Waverly High School, where he also was an all-state basketball player.
Smoltz could have played college basketball. In fact, Jud Heathcoate offered him a scholarship to play at MSU.
Many know Smoltz by the moniker Smoltzie, but his teammate in Atlanta Dale Murphy gave Smoltz his first ever nickname: Marmaduke.
Smoltz accumulated 213 wins and 154 saves over the course of 20 MLB seasons, making him the only player ever to cross both the 200-win and 150-save thresholds.
It was the Detroit Tigers who drafted Smoltz,in the 22nd round of the 1985 draft. But in 1987, the Tigers traded him to the Atlanta Braves for veteran Doyle Alexander. The trade helped Detroit in the short-term as the Tigers won their division that year, but the Braves got a Hall of Famer.
Smotlz is an accomplished accordion player. He started playing at a young age, before he began dominating in sports.