I wasn't afraid to fail. It's really as simple as that.
As a seven-year-old kid pitching a ball against a brick wall, John Smoltz decided to be a professional baseball player when he grew up. And from that simple decision until his last season on the mound in the major leagues, it was his faith, work ethic, and love for the gameeven more than God-given talentthat propelled him through challenges that would have ruined other athletes.
Starting and Closing chronicles John Smoltz's final season in a major league uniform, capping a legendary career that included fourteen years as part of one of the most dominant starting rotations in baseball, a Cy Young Award, and a World Series titleall while battling and overcoming "career-ending" injuries. At age forty-one, Smoltz was making yet another unlikely comeback from his fifth surgery. Recounting the story of a season that tested his perseverance and deepened his faith, Smoltz flashes back to watershed moments in the skeptic-defying journey from being one of the best starting pitchers of all time, to closer, to starter again.
One of the most intelligent, talented, and passionate players in the game, Smoltz delivers insights into modern major league baseball, its place in popular culture, and the value of competition. He writes with unflinching honesty about becoming a true Christian and finding in his beliefs the peace and strength to stay focusedthrough postseason triumphs and defeats, upheavals in his personal life, and the sting of being sent to the bullpen. What emerges is an inspirational story of spiritual growth and family values, from a man who believed not just in himself but in God's plan for himand one more year.
John Smoltz is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and active sportscaster. He is best known for his prolific career of more than two decades with the Atlanta Braves, during which he garnered eight All-Star selections and received the Cy Young Award in 1996. He is currently the chairman of King's Ridge Christian School in Atlanta and is a scratch golfer. (Tiger Woods has said that Smoltz is the best golfer outside of the PGA tour.) He lives in Atlanta with his family.
“When Smoltz talks about baseball, the book comes alive . . . it all has the ring of authenticity and wisdom.”