VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - He's one of the newest members of the Hall of Fame, and an all-time Braves legend.
Former pitcher John Smoltz made a stop in south Georgia Tuesday to speak to the Valdosta FCA.
Before talking to the group, he spoke to WALB Sports about being inducted into Cooperstown, the late Bobby Dews, and the Braves' process.
Q: How does it feel to be introduced as "Hall of Famer John Smoltz" as these engagements now?
SMOLTZ: Well, it's interesting about life's journey. I never thought that would happen. Certainly, I'm getting used to it, especially the signature part of it. But with all humbleness, I can't even imagine that it happened. I'm honored. I'm obviously still trying to let it set in.
Q: What are your memories of Bobby Dews, the former longtime Braves' bullpen coach and Albany resident who passed away in December?
JS: Bobby Dews was one of those guys that if you could get moments of time with him, his knowledge, the experiences he had in baseball...I had a blast with Bobby. Of course, he was in the bullpen for most of my transformation to the bullpen as the closer. So we got a chance to spend a lot more time together. What a seasoned man who had been through so much and taught us a lot.
Q: You're joining Joe Buck in the broadcast booth this season as the color analyst for MLB on Fox's national broadcasts. What are you most excited for as you step into that role?
JS: Well, I'm honored and thrilled to be a part of calling some of the greatest moments our game has to offer, and that's the World Series. I loved my time with 14 straight years in the postseason, 15 total. The ability to actually have this kind of seat calling the greatest moments and the greatest game at the pinnacle of the World Series is truly an honor. I just hope to do it justice.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Braves' rebuild?
JS: I think they have put themselves in a situation for a short-term turnaround. Their prospects and their farm system has gotten so much better and deeper that they'll be better off in the long run than had they not done what they did. It's a tough PR hit, and fans are wondering why they had to go this route. They will see why in a short period, when they will be back to where they need to be.