Best Local Athlete 

JOHN SMOLTZ achieved this year what only one other pitcher has done in baseball history: He appeared as a reliever in the All-Star Game, after making previous all-star teams as a starter. It's no surprise. Smoltz had always been the best athlete among the Braves' big three starters (Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux). But a bad elbow was threatening the former Cy Young winner's career until the team opted to convert him to closer. Smoltz proceeded this year to set the National League record for saves. Dozens more Atlanta athletes can run faster or jump higher than Smoltz. None have made a switch so successfully from top performer at one skill in their 20s to top performer at another in their 30s.


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