|This is the first time that I noticed that Smoltz started his professional career with the Lakeland Tigers. I worked a contract in Lakeland for a little over two years and every spring the hotel was crawling with Tigers. The coolest was the hitting coach at the time who, like me, was up at the crack of dawn every morning eating breakfast in the lobby. We became friendly and spoke most mornings. His name was Bill Madlock, and if you youngsters don’t know who he is, you should look it up. The man could hit.