Hall of Fame, class of 2015
Detroit plucked obscure Michigander John Smoltz out of high school in the 22nd round of the 1985 draft. He began his pro baseball career the following season, playing with the Lakeland Tigers of the Florida State League. In ’87, he was assigned to the Eastern League’s Glens Falls Tigers, but Detroit traded him to Atlanta mid-season. He got a taste of Triple-A after the trade; appearing in three games for the Richmond Braves. In 1988, he returned to Richmond and cut his ERA in half. In July of that year, he appeared in his first big league game with Atlanta.
Minor league teams that John Smoltz played for en route to the majors:
- Lakeland Tigers (Florida State League)
- Glens Falls Tigers (Eastern League)
- Richmond Braves (International League)