|Cy Young Award winner and future Hall of Fame pitcher, John Smoltz, will receive the 2012 Scheels Sports “Nice Guy” Award, according to Banquet Chairman, Mike Reese. The presentation will take place at the 47th Annual Red Smith Sports Award Banquet on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at 6:30 pm at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin.Smoltz, predominantly known as a starting pitcher with the Atlanta Braves, enjoyed a prolific 21 year Major League baseball career. Although he spent most of his career as a starting pitcher, he was converted to a reliever following Tommy John surgery in 2001, becoming one of baseball’s greatest closers. In 2002 he became only the second pitcher in history to have had both a 20-win season and a 50-save season (the other being Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley). He is the only pitcher in major league history to top both 200 wins and 150 saves and became the 16th member of the 3,000 Strikeout Club on April 22, 2008.
Smoltz made his Major League debut on June 23, 1988, with the Atlanta Braves. His first year was not his best statistical year, but in 1989 he began to blossom, making the All-Star team for the first of eight times. That same year his long time teammate, Tom Glavine, had a breakout year. In 1993, they would be joined by Greg Maddux forming one of the greatest starting pitching trio’s in the history of baseball, dominating the National League East for over a decade and winning the World Series in 1995.Currently, Smoltz is an analyst for the MLB Network and color analyst for TBS Sunday Afternoon Baseball, along with the networks coverage of the playoffs. He also calls Braves games on Peachtree TV. He was in the TV booth for the Brewers vs. Cardinals NLCS games.