Loyalty is defined as faithfulness to commitments and obligations. For 20 years, John Smoltz was committed to the Atlanta Braves organization, and they were committed to him. Now, after those 20 years, or 7,300 days, spent pitching for the Atlanta Braves, he says goodbye and heads for greener pastures and greener bills.
Was it for more money, or was it to win a World Series? I can't answer that, but I hope Smoltz knows what he's doing.
After all, Emmitt Smith had a great career in Arizona, right? Jerry Rice was amazing in Oakland? Not exactly. And let's not forget Jordan on the Wizards? We can even look at Brett Favre this season. Let's just say that Brett's Jets faded like a pair of Wrangler's.
I hope Smoltz doesn't fade away. For someone who has been a class act for so long, I wish him the best. But the track records of some of the greats listed above show that Boston will likely not get the best of him.
So when Smoltzy does go into the Hall of Fame, he can wear the Boston World Series ring he'll get in 2009 and the Braves jersey that he poured his soul into for 20 years of his illustrious career. The second most important Brave of all-time, behind Hank Aaron, has now gone to a team that gave him more money.
For the money, for the love of the game, or for the ring, whatever it may have been; loyalty lost.