Wendel: Glavine, Smoltz, and the Braves’ rise from worst to first

From SABR member Tim Wendel at The National Pastime Museum on January 9, 2017:

In the spring of 1991, Atlanta Braves Manager Bobby Cox believed that his starting rotation held plenty of promise. After going 10–12 the year before, left-hander Tom Glavine appeared ready to become his staff ace. He was backed by veteran Charlie Leibrandt, with youngsters John Smoltz and Steve Avery ready to step up.

That said, Cox knew that few things remain certain after the spring camps break in Florida and Arizona. What seemed so rosy under the March sun can fade like fool’s gold when the grind of another regular season gets under way.

“You do your due diligence, you try to bring in the best talent,” he said, “and we certainly believed that we had done so that spring. But it can be a long road from potential to results that you can count on. We were like a lot of teams coming out of camp. We had some question marks.”

Long before the Braves’ rotation became one of the most respected in the game, Glavine and Smoltz were fresh faces trying to find themselves. That they did so by going from last place to the World Series makes their maturation process even more remarkable.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/tom-glavine-and-john-smoltz

Originally published: January 9, 2017. Last Updated: January 9, 2017.