ATLANTA — FOX Sports South will debut DRIVEN — John Smoltz: A Hall of Fame Career, presented by Toyota on Friday, July 10 at 6 p.m. ET, with a same-day encore presentation at 11:30 p.m. ET.
DRIVEN — John Smoltz: A Hall of Fame Career chronicles the unique career of long-time Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, and what drove him to compete on his way to his election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Viewers will also see never-before-seen interview clips with Smoltz leading up to his induction, as well as original footage of Smoltz and fellow Hall of Famer Tom Glavine on the golf course.
"He’s probably the most competitive guy that I’ve ever played with," said former Braves third baseman and eight-time All-Star Chipper Jones.
The 90-minute show will feature exclusive interviews discussing Smoltz’s dominance with former Braves teammates including Steve Avery, Greg Maddux, Glavine and Jones; former Braves managers and coaches including Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone; and Braves president John Schuerholz. It will also contain an opening narration from renowned comedian Jeff Foxworthy, an Atlanta native and lifelong Braves fan.
"I just really wanted to win championships," said Smoltz. "I wanted to win so badly, I was willing to do anything it took. It was never about getting to the Hall of Fame — I wanted to win rings. I wanted to win more than one, and that drove me for 21 years."
Along with winning a World Series championship in 1995, a National League Cy Young Award in 1996 and being named an All-Star four times, Smoltz underwent Tommy John surgery prior to the 2000 season. DRIVEN will explore Smoltz’s recovery from the surgery and his consequent transition to the bullpen that helped define his Hall of Fame career. Over the span of three-plus seasons as a closer, Smoltz recorded 154 saves — breaking the National League single-season saves record in 2002 with 55 — before returning to the starting rotation.
"Smoltz was a dominant overpowering, guy with a great fastball and an unbelievable slider," said Cox. "And then he came up with a changeup, a split-finger and even a knuckleball. John Smoltz was the Ben Franklin of getting people out — he could think of many ways to do it."
Smoltz’s accomplishments and competitive drive earned him a first-ballot election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and he will be inducted on Sunday, July 26 in Cooperstown, New York. Smoltz is the first pitcher to enter the Hall of Fame after undergoing Tommy John surgery, as well as the only Hall of Fame pitcher with 200+ wins and 150+ saves.
Debuting on FOX Sports South in 2012, DRIVEN is an award-winning original series featuring stories of dedication, focus and success both on and off the field of play. DRIVEN will continue next month with an episode centered on the 1990 National Champion Georgia Tech football team, followed by episodes about Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis, Atlanta Hawks legend and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Famer Danny Manning. Previous episodes this year have included DRIVEN — Michael Waltrip Racing: Life in the Pits and DRIVEN — Matt Crafton: Born to Race.