John Smoltz, pitcher of 20 years for my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, reached a milestone last night that few before have been able to obtain. In a game against the Washington Nationals, on a 2-2 splitter to Felipe Lopez, Smoltz struck out his 3,000th batter of his career. He is only the 16th pitcher in MLB history to strike out that many.
Terrance Moore from the Atlanta Journal Constitution has a good story on Smoltz and the game last night.
Now, despite the fact that my wife has a somewhat-creepy crush on him, John is, and will be until he retires, my favorite player. Not only is he a great competitor who can dominate on the mound in any circumstances, he is a man of integrity and a man of God who follows Jesus Christ. His charity work has been well-documented, and he routinely speaks at events for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and has shared his testimony on "Faith Day" for the Atlanta Braves.
In an interview with "Sharing the Victory" magazine about FCA, John said: "People ask me how I can go out and pitch in front of 45-50 thousand people. I tell them I'm not pitching for 45-50 thousand people. I'm pitching for One."
Here's an article from CBN about Smoltz, and here's some videos to commemorate this milestone for John:
A recap of the game where it happened (he struck out 10 in the game in 7 innings):
The tribute they showed on the video board at Turner Field in Atlanta when it happened (done by a hand-held camera, so it's not perfect, but still worth seeing):
Congrats John, and thanks.