Smoltz was committed to play baseball(and likely walk on in basketball) at my alma mater-Michigan State University before the Detroit Tigers signed him away. Here is his first professional card for the 1986 Lakeland Tigers. One of the few minor league cards that I own.
Of course Smoltz was a part of one of the most infamous trades in Tiger history. Trading the pitching prospect for a veteran starter during the pennant race of 1987. Doyle Alexander did well going 9-0 for the eventual division champs but giving up a future Hall of Famer for a veteran pitcher is hard to swallow for Tiger fans. I realize if he stayed with Detroit , he may not have end up in Cooperstown. The Braves had the coaching and team that helped him succeed. Here is first "rookie card". His only card from 1988.
|1988 Fleer Update|
Soon after debuting from Atlanta, Smoltz came back home and did a fund raising autograph show at his old junior high. I got him to sign his 1989 fleer rookie card.
My last Smoltz card I will feature today is from my final year collection. I collect cards from players when they retire. The cards must be issued when their careers just ended and show their entire career stats on back. Here is John Smoltz as a ..ugh...Cardinal.