In 1995, Smoltz would earn a ring when the Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians in six games to win the World Series.
For his career, Smoltz would dominate in the postseason with a 15-4 record and a 2.67 ERA.
“For me, it’s not that I didn’t concentrate as much in the other games, I just wanted it that much more,” said Smoltz, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2015 in his first year eligible. “I wanted to be in that position.”
While the deal certainly paid off for the Braves in acquiring a future Hall of Fame pitcher, it also paid short-term dividends for the Tigers.
Despite going just 5-10 in the season’s first half with the Braves, Alexander made 11 starts for the Tigers during the stretch run of the ‘87 season and was dominant. The 36-year-old right-hander was 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA and finished fourth in the Cy Young voting.
Alexander’s performance over the season’s final two months helped propel the Tigers to a 33-18 record after the trade. Overall, Detroit finished the year with 98 wins, winning the American League East division title.
However, their season would end at the hands of the Twins in the American League Championship Series, as the Tigers fell in five games.
Alexander was named to the AL All-Star team in 1988 en route to 14 wins for the Tigers. At 37-years-old, it was his only career appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic. He retired following the 1989 season.
Ryan Turnquist was the 2015 public relations intern in the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum