Tuesday, January 6, 2015

John Smoltz, Welcome To The Hall Of Fame

Photo from www.ajc.com
I haven't even completed the first sentence yet and I'm already getting goose bumps. John Smoltz is being inducted into the MLB Hall Of Fame. My favorite player in the history of everything, inducted. Words really cannot describe how happy I am, as with this, many opportunities arise. The main one is that I'll have the chance to finally meet him after all these years. Unfortunately I've never been able to watch him play in-person, only on tv. I almost got to see him during his Triple-A stint with Pawtucket, but at the time I wasn't even old enough to drive. Considering that Pawtucket was going to be playing in Syracuse, Syracuse was the closest Triple-A team to where I live, even if it was two hours away. I almost went to the HOF induction last year and I might've been able to meet him then, but I just couldn't make it. I've been to the Hall Of Fame before, but not the ceremony. When I went in 2007 it was a week or two after the ceremony (something like that, I don't really remember). The first ceremony I'll ever attend will be with Smoltz, and I find that quite fitting.

I'm not sure who's more excited about the induction, Smoltzy or myself. Both of our childhood dreams come true, with him being inducted into the Hall Of Fame and me actually being able to see him in-person with my own eyes, hopefully meet him, and maybe even get something signed by him. You may or may not be able to tell just how excited I am. For comparison, think of your favorite athlete. You think highly of them in many regards, whether it because of their personality, athletic accomplishments, or perhaps they're the face of your favorite team. Have you been able to meet him/her? For me, it's a feeling of pure excitement. Being from a small town, the closest MLB team to me would probably be the Blue Jays. I would've driven to see him play but my parents wouldn't let a 17/18 year old kid drive 6+ hours to either New York City or to Toronto. And my dad was never up for traveling. So I was SOL.

I could've talked about his statistics or how he went from starter to closer and then back to starter, but this was more of a personal blog post for me. I've looked up to him for years. I've collected hundreds upon hundreds of cards, autos, bobbleheads, and other sorts of memorabilia of him. To see him be recognized as now a Hall Of Fame player is truly a remarkable feeling. I don't want to take away from the others that were elected including Pedro Martinez, Craig Biggio, and Randy Johnson, so congratulations to them as well. For me, though, Smoltz shines above them all. I was so confident that he'd make it in that I started writing this post before the official announcement and this last little bit is all I've written since it became official. Just a year a part, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux will be joined by John Smoltz. Seeing the "Big Three" united in the Hall, along with Bobby Cox, gives me chills.

A childhood dream was answered for Smoltz today, and for me, mine will be answered this summer when I'll be in the presence of my all-time favorite player for any sport, and my hero that I've looked up to for so many years in my young adult life. I can now look forward to hearing his speech and hopefully meeting him over the summer. I'll be able to see his plaque in the Hall Of Fame for the rest of my life and tell my future children that I was there to see his induction. Congratulations John, from perhaps your biggest fan in the world. See you in Cooperstown.

Photo from www.braves.com

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