Future Hall of Famer Smoltz to Be the Next Mr 3,000

Michael MedearisCorrespondent IApril 18, 2008

John Smoltz, the 41-year-old right hander, is closing in on becoming the next Mr. 3,000.

Smoltz is only four strikeouts away from achieving this milestone in his career. And any baseball fan who takes a look at his outstanding career can appreciate what he has done. 

Smoltz who has played 20 seasons (all with the Braves) in the big leagues, making his professional debut in July 1988. He started his career as a starter. He has 210 career wins (202 of them as a starter).

Smoltz missed the entire 2000 season with injury and returned to the Braves staff in 2001 as a closer/reliever where he saved 10 games. Then from 2002-2004, he had 144 saves.

Then with the departure of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, Smoltz returned to the starting rotation in 2005, going 14-7 that season. In Smoltz's best season he had 24 wins with 276 strikeouts, and in his best season as a closer he saved 55 games and struck out 85.

Smoltz is approaching a milestone that pretty much grantees him a place in the  Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, though I'm not sure he would need it. His next start which is Tuesday against the nationals will more than likely be a night of history for the 41 year old right hander.

As a baseball fan its easy to appreciate someone who has gone from the starting role, to the closing role and back, who has been able to be consistent through it all. Its not a very common thing to be able to do that and still be approaching 3,000 career strikeouts, but Smoltz is just four shy and will go for history on Tuesday.

So baseball fans all over the world, whether or not they are braves fans will tune in to see history made here early in the young season.