This First Hardcover Edition of Starting and Closing has been personally Autographed by John Smoltz.
Starting and Closing . . . and Everything In-Between tells the story of John Smoltz’s incredible twenty-two-year career in professional baseball, encapsulated in his final season. With unflinching honesty, he takes us on his unprecedented journey from starting pitcher, to closer, and miraculously back to the starting rotation—all while battling and overcoming the kind of “career-ending” injuries that have sidelined many other players.
One of the most intelligent, talented, and passionate players in the game, Smoltz doesn't hold back the heat, tossing out insights about the game and his experiences, including the strengths and weaknesses of a Braves team that won fourteen straight division titles yet only one World Series. He reveals what it took to defy the skeptics and rebuild his career; what it’s like to be sent out to the pasture known as the bullpen, why he turned down a highly lucrative offer to become a New York Yankee, and how it felt pitching that last game as a St. Louis Cardinal.
On the surface, Smoltz’s life seems like a fairytale story. But beyond the money and fame is the true tale of aches and pains, of a man sacrificing his body for more than two decades, putting his team first even when management didn’t always return the favor, failing a marriage, and staying true to his values and his faith. Starting and Closing . . . and Everything In-Between is Smoltz’s remarkable story in his own words, filled with insider’s glimpses, personal stories, and the inspirational message of a man who refused to give up on his dream.
• John Smoltz is one of only sixteen pitchers in the history of baseball to throw more than 3,000 strikeouts, one of just two pitchers ever to achieve twenty wins and fifty saves in single seasons, and the only pitcher ever to record 200 wins and 150 saves. He also boasts a 3.33 career earned run average and a stunning 15-4 postseason record.
• Between 1991 and 2005, the Braves won an unprecedented fouteen division titles and a World Series title. The team’s roster featured one of the greatest pitching rotations of all-time (some say the 1998 rotation was the best). It’s only fitting that the story of the pitching staff that featured Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Steve Avery be told by its most compelling member.