Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Starting and Closing: ...
John Smoltz
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  200 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
John Smoltz was one of the greatest Major League pitchers of the late twentieth / early twenty-first century—one of only two in baseball history ever to achieve twenty wins and fifty saves in single seasons—and now he shares the candid, no-holds-barred story of his life, his career, and the game he loves in Starting and Closing.

A Cy Young Award-winner, future Baseball Hall
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by William Morrow
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Starting and Closing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Starting and Closing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Michael J
At first I thought it was kind of boring, but then I realized that I only held that opinion because I was accustomed to reading gripping biographies of Christian martyrs like Dietrich Beonhoffer and Corrie Ten-Boom. If you imagine John Smoltz just relaxing in your living room after eating a good dinner telling you his life story, it becomes an enjoyable read.
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the background to these important years in Braves history and Major League Baseball history. Very insightful autobiography.
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Smoltz is one of the best pitchers to ever play major league baseball. For over twenty years he pitched for the Atlanta Braves, chosen eight times for the All-Star team and winning the Cy Young Award for best pitcher in 1996.

He pitched in the starting rotation for fourteen years when an injury caused him to move to the bullpen and become a relief pitcher. After three years in the bullpen, he asked to rejoin the starting rotation. Many people, particularly in the sports media, asked him why
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I grew up a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan. Though I don't follow the game nearly as much as I used to (I used to record the team's stats and maintain a binder for a few years -- I was very serious!), I am still a Braves fan at heart. I've long been a fan of John Smoltz, as well. I had the good fortune to interview him in the Braves dugout for a summer project I worked on in 2002, the summer after my junior year at The College of William & Mary. (The project was a statistical analysis of the Br ...more
Stoney Setzer
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit to being a bit biased on this review. The Atlanta Braves are my favorite team in any sport, and John Smoltz is my all-time favorite Brave, so I doubt that there would have been any way for me to NOT like this book. For those who may not know, Smoltz was one of the key figures in the Braves' rise from 1980s doormats to 1990s contenders. He is one of only 15 pitchers with 3,000 + career strikeouts (and the only Brave on that list), has 15 career postseason wins, and is the only pitcher ...more
Kevin McAllister
Every year when Spring Training comes around I find my self reading a baseball book. So this year when I found out that John Smoltz would be coming to my store to do a book signing and I was able to acquire an advanced copy I thought I had another baseball book I could enjoy. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. This book just didn't do it for me. First of all, as a dedicated and life time fan of the Mets, I'm going to have a certain animosity toward anyone involved with the Braves. But as a fan ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface my review by stating that I'm a huge Braves fan and a huge John Smoltz fan. In the '90s when he, Glavine, and Maddux were part of the rotation, I listened to them on the radio all the time, especially in September when the season would be winding down and we'd be in our huge crunch time at work.

Reading Smoltz account of his time with the Braves, his disaster with the Red Sox and finally ending with the Cardinals, it felt as if he were actually telling me, about it. Because of his
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the best books I read, even for not being a book reader myself. The fact that he always wants to go out and help his team win games inspired me to go out and help others with anything. This book also taught me that no matter what happens, always have a mindset that you can do it. I also realized that if you make mistakes, move on with the knowledge to prevent that mistake. A man from one of my favorite teams was nearly at a career ending injury, but he came back, even though the ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Staring and Closing" is insightful and motivational, with some fun anecdotes from both John Smoltz' playing career and his post-career (starting a private school, public speaking, and broadcasting). I enjoyed getting to know Smoltz and found him quite transparent. I also appreciated his boldness in sharing his Christian faith in a simple but powerful way. It really is a terrific peek into his motivations and how he turns challenges -- even failure -- into the fuel for success. Some Braves fans ...more
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Growing up in a Braves family (for example -- I have lots of memories of watching the Braves on TBS; my great-aunt had a photo of Maddux in her family pictures!) I grabbed this book when I saw it at my local public library. I was able to follow along with the baseball (particularly the Braves part!) but the rest of his baseball career was interesting as well.

The entire book talks alot about what he overcame to do what he wanted to do. It was very inspiring!
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was phenomenal and much more than I expected. John's talk of faith and spirituality was an inspiration that even the non-baseball/Braves fan could appreciate. The book and its events were executed with such grace and respect that furthers my being a fan of superb pitcher and amazing person.
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge Braves fan, but I think this book is for everyone. It reads just like Smoltz is talking to you. He talks about his internal drive and refusing to fail through his many surgeries and comebacks. He talks about his faith in a non-preachy way. Many of his points apply to challenges that we all face.
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You don't have to be a baseball fan to read John Smoltz's book. I've been a fan of his, and the Braves, for a long time but learning personal things about him just intensified my respect for him as a man as well as an athleete. If you are a fan, you'll love the book.
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a die hard Braves fan but have stopped watching in the last few years when all of my favs retired/went to other teams.. I enjoyed reading this book by Smoltz, esp the parts about the joking around!
Shane Grier
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Precedent. Stoltz takes the reader through out his career in MLB. The highest highs of winning a world championship and the surgeries that took him to his lowest lows. Good read.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book if you are a fan of baseball and especially John Smoltz. A little slow in places, but always returned to an interesting or funny side. The last third of the book was especially good.
Travis Coverston
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was tempted to give this book 5 stars, but there were a few things I wish John Smoltz had done differently. First, he touches on divorce and his new marriage but never discusses how it came about.

The other difference I wanted to see was a little about the Braves. There were anecdotes, but it seemed to be equal time reading about Atlanta as about Boston and St Louis. I understand those last years were more defining as a person, but I would have liked a few more stories with the Braves.

It is har
Donny Stephens
I'm usually not into autobiographies but once I seen this book in my local library I had to pick it up. Being a fan of Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves, I knew this would be a good read. This book also drove me to write my first review here on goodreads so here it goes.

John Smoltz - Starting and Closing

The author, John Smoltz, was one of the best pitchers in baseball in my opinion. He pitched for the Altanta Braves from 1991 to 1999 and won the Cy Young Award in 1996 and a World Series Title in 199
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
“Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith and One More Year” by John Smoltz and Don Yeager

Baseball, autobiography, Braves

May 8, 2012

304 pages

3 of 5 stars (good)

John Smoltz was an integral part of the Atlanta Braves franchise that won 14 consecutive division titles between 1991 and 2005. For a portion of that stretch he was considered one of the “Big Three” in the Braves starting rotation of Smoltz, Greg Maddox and Tom Glavine.

As is the case
Paul Miller
Full disclosure: my daughter attends Kings Ridge Christian School, which is the school in Alpharetta that Smoltz helped start. So I began the book with a favorable impression of the author.... that being said...

I found this book a pleasant surprise - I expected to get the simple chronological biography with tales of great success, blah blah blah.... Instead, the book focuses on the very end of his career (brief stints with the Red Sox and the Cardinals). Very personal look at that experience - t
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the years I covered the Braves, two things would be certain in an interview with John Smoltz after a game he pitched: a little whining and a lot of explanation. This book is a little like that. There's some "if only this, then this," but a lot of thought-out reasoning for why things happened the way they did. I've always like Smoltz, admired him being openly Christian and liked his doggedness. While the book purports to be about his final up and down season with Boston and St. Louis, it's mor ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly Smoltz' view of his final years in baseball. Interesting and semi-entertaining although he seems be using this as a bit of a defense in some areas. John Smoltz was a hall-of-fame calibre pitcher and a top-drawer man of faith off the field, so that alone makes the book an interesting read. I would've liked to read more of his relationship with next=door neighbor and friend Jeff Foxworthy... there HAD to be some cool practical jokes in that neighborhood!
I felt that the book could have been
Layne A.
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not a very good "baseball" book. John gets too caught up in his religious views and in his talk about his golf game. I just want plain old talk about pitching and/or talk about other Braves players. He did have a lot of good things to say about the St. Louis Cardinal organization.
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-people
I always liked John Smoltz. After reading this book I like him more. A great person who is a great baseball player.I have not watched a Braves game since the mid 2000. Just hearing about the behind the sceens thing, contracts,personel.
Really a great read.
Chris Witt
Fairly dull. Smoltz seems like a nice enough guy but comes across as a bit stiff and his story did nothing to pull me in. Hell of a career, though.
Patti Abernathy
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insight into the mind of a major league pitcher. Always liked him and this perspective added to that.
Brandon Ford
Not a captivating read by any means, but if you are a serious Braves fan, you might want to check it out.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, read-in-2012
This was an enjoyable read, but not as much baseball as I expected. A diehard Braves fan would probably find this more enjoyable.
Good read, humorous, christian and Atlanta Braves....
Jim Blessing
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
Very quickly into this book, I realize I didn't like it or the author.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Games Do Count: America's Best and Brightest on the Power of Sports
  • John Major: The Autobiography
  • Standing Firm: A Vice-Presidential Memoir
  • One Soldier's Story: A Memoir
  • Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life
  • Masters and Commanders: The Military Geniuses Who Led the West to Victory in World War II
  • Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters
  • Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography
  • Maybe I'll Pitch Forever
  • The Path to Power
  • Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend
  • Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet
  • Catherine the Great
  • Summer of '68: The Season That Changed Baseball—and America—Forever
  • Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al Qaeda
  • American Soldier
  • Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self
  • All In: The Education of General David Petraeus

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Bad Boy
    $7.74 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All Over But the Shoutin'
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line
    $11.99 $1.99
  • WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness
    $5.99 $0.99