John Smoltz to receive ABCA Honor Award in Nashville

John Smoltz to receive ABCA Honor Award in Nashville

John Smoltz, who was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in July, will be presented the American Baseball Coaches Association's Honor Award at the ABCA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, on Jan. 9, 2016. The former National League Cy Young Award winner currently serves as an on-air personality for MLB Network.

The Honor Award is presented each year to individuals involved in baseball, who have distinguished themselves and are recognized for achievements in their profession. The first-ballot Hall of Famer will be presented the award and will speak during the Honors Luncheon on Jan. 9, 2016 at the ABCA Convention. Smoltz is also giving a presentation titled "Mitigation & Rehabilitation of Tommy John Surgery" along with trainer Chris Verna during the clinics that day.

Smoltz, an eight-time All-Star and the 16th pitcher in Major League history to reach 3,000 career strikeouts, had an illustrious 21-year career on the field. He led the National League twice each in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts and was the only member of the Atlanta Braves to be a part of the franchise's 14-consecutive division titles from 1991-05.

Smoltz, however, missed the entire 2000 season following Tommy John surgery. He was able to return the following year and find success while transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Ultimately, he became the first player in MLB history to reach at least 250 wins and 150 saves in a career.

Since retiring, Smoltz has broadcasted games for multiple national TV stations including TBS, Fox and MLB Network.

Recently, Smoltz has been an advocate for raising arm care awareness across amateur baseball. This summer, Smoltz became the first pitcher to enter the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame following Tommy John surgery.

Smoltz addressed the growing concern over Tommy John surgery during the conclusion of his 2015 Hall of Fame induction speech: "It's an epidemic ... I want to encourage the families and parents that are out there that this is not normal to have a surgery at 14 and 15 years old. That you have time, that baseball is not a year-round sport, that you have an opportunity to be athletic and play other sports ... Every throw a kid makes today is a competitive pitch. They don't go outside, they don't have fun, they don't throw enough — but they're competing and maxing out too hard, too early, and that's why we're having these problems. Please, take care of those great future arms."

Off the field, Smoltz is known for his contributions to several charities and foundations, having been honored with the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (2005), the Roberto Clemente Award (2005) and the Branch Rickey Award (2007).