The greatness of John Smoltz is plainly evident. The Hall of Famer is the only pitcher in Major League history with at least 200 wins and 150 saves; he has been an All-Star 8 times, won a Cy Young Award and has a World Series championship ring. But the times that have given “Smoltzie” the greatest joy are the ones spent with his family in his gorgeous Georgia home for the holidays.
As many can relate to, home for the Smoltz’ means security. It is a place where family – both immediate and extended – can come together for any occasion to celebrate. Home is a place where one can feel safe and have fun in privacy. Smoltz built his home with that thought in mind. He wanted his own getaway where his loved ones could gather.
Following sound advice from former teammate Ted Simmons, Smoltz chose to live in Atlanta not just because it is where he played baseball, but because it was ultimately where he wanted to call home. Luckily for Smoltz, the perfect place to settle down also happened to be the perfect place for his long baseball career. As a minor leaguer, Smoltz was traded from his hometown Detroit Tigers system to the Atlanta Braves. As soon as Smoltz got to Atlanta, player and city fell in love with each other. The embracing culture of Southern hospitality in Atlanta convinced him that this was the place where he could make his home.
When John Smoltz was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2015, he reflected on his career and realized that the honor of becoming a Hall of Famer is more about family than anything else. It is his memories of his father driving hundreds of miles just to see him pitch and it is the same promise that he made his children to get back to see as many of their games as possible. The effort and dedication that it took to become a Hall of Fame caliber player would mean nothing if that meant missing out on what was going on back at home.
Smoltz’ backyard is what dreams are made of. It comes fully equipped with a basketball court, golf course with 9 tees, two greens and lake. No wonder it took him nearly two years to build!
By far the favorite room in the house for Smoltz is his in-home movie theater, but you’ll never guess why its door has former Atlanta Braves backup outfielder Eli Merrero’s bats as its handles.