COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — The Atlanta Braves’ Big 3 are together again.
Right-hander John Smoltz was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday afternoon, joining Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, who were inducted last year.
Smoltz was joined in the Class of 2015 by pitchers Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez and second baseman Craig Biggio.
Smoltz was a starter and reliever during his 21-year, career. He finished with a 213-155 record, 154 saves, 3,084 strikeouts and a 3.33 ERA. He won 14 or more games 10 times and twice led the NL in wins (1996 and 2006), innings pitched (1996 and 1997) and strikeouts (1992 and 1996).
Smoltz won the National League Cy Young award in 1996.
He is the only pitcher in major league history to record 200 wins and 150 saves.
The Detroit native is the only man to make the Hall after having Tommy John surgery. Smoltz also is the only Braves player to be part of the franchise's entire run of 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 to 2005. The Braves won five pennants and the 1995 World Series with Smoltz on the roster.
Smoltz understood his debt to John.
"I'm a miracle. I'm a medical miracle," Smoltz said. "I never took one day for granted."
Smoltz also heaped praise on former manager Bobby Cox and teammates Glavine and Maddux and delivered a message to parents of the players of tomorrow as the number of Tommy John surgeries continues to escalate.
"Understand that this is not normal to have a surgery at 14 or 15 years old," Smoltz said to warm applause. "Baseball is not a year-round sport. They're competing too hard, too early. That's why we're having these problems."
Many waved Dominican flags for one of their own. Martinez joined former Giants great Juan Marichal as the onlyHall of Famers from the Caribbean nation.
"We waited 32 years another Dominican," Martinez said. "I hope all Dominicans remember this."
Playing through an era tainted by steroids and ruled by offense — compliments of bulked-up sluggers, a smaller strike zone and smaller ballparks — Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz proved indomitable. They combined for 735 wins, 11,113 strikeouts and nine Cy Young Awards.Biggio, who played four positions in his 20-year career, all with the Houston Astros, was indefatigable, becoming an All-Star at second base and behind the plate.
"We changed the culture in Houston by making it a baseball city," said Biggio, who grew up on New York's Long Island. "To the Astros fans, you guys are the greatest fans in the world."
Martinez, 219-100 for his career, was the first Red Sox pitcher inducted.
He grew up with five brothers and sisters in a one-room home on the outskirts of Santo Domingo. He credits brother Ramon, a starter with the Dodgers during Pedro's rookie season in Los Angeles, as a key to his career.
"I have a second dad," said Martinez, whose blue jacket had emblems on each arm from his country's flag. "Ramon, you are my second dad. I followed in his footsteps and it led me to where I am today."
Remarkably, all three pitchers didn't stick around with their first clubs very long. Drafted by Montreal, Johnson made the Expos roster in 1988 and midway through the 1989 season was traded to the Seattle Mariners.
Smoltz, signed by his hometown Detroit Tigers after being selected on the 22nd round of the 1985 amateur draft, was dealt to Atlanta for veteran Doyle Alexander in August 1987. And the Dodgers traded Martinez to Montreal after the hard-throwing right-hander with the pinpoint control had a solid rookie season in the bullpen.
On this day, that was ancient history.
Johnson, at 6-foot-10 the tallest player elected to the Hall of Fame, gave special thanks to his parents. His father died in 1992. His mother, Carol, was watching from the front row.
"Thank you, mom. You're the Hall of Famer," Johnson said.
Johnson became a 20-game winner in 1997 and won four consecutive Cy Young awards with the Arizona Diamondbacks, leading them to the World Series championship in 2001. He finished with 303 victories in 22 seasons.
Biggio became the only player in major league history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases and 250 home runs while being asked to play four positions in his 20-year career, all with the Astros.
He thanked coach Matt Galante, who worked tirelessly over six weeks as Biggio made the transition from catcher to second base. Biggio looked at Galante in the audience.
''I'm not here without that man," he said.