Former Atlanta Braves closer John Rocker made an appearance at Lake Olmstead Stadium on Wednesday night, promoting a book and recalling memories of his time in the South Atlantic League.
Rocker threw out the first pitch and signed autographs during the GreenJackets game. He promoted his book, Scars and Strikes.
Rocker is known for his controversial remarks while playing in the major leagues, including his opinion of New York City residents and Mets fans printed in Sports Illustrated in 1999. He has continued to make comments that have made headlines after retiring from baseball in 2005.
Most recently he said in a radio interview in Cleveland that performance-enhancing drug use in Major League Baseball helped make it a better sport.
“There have been some misconceptions about me over the years,” he said. “I wanted to clear the air about a lot of that stuff. I had a career in professional baseball, and it’s about the trials and tribulations, the things I learned mentally, the things I learned physically. It was nice to put them in a package.”
The left-hander had a 2.63 ERA and 83 saves in four seasons with the Braves. He had a career 3.42 ERA in six seasons in the majors.
Rocker talked to the GreenJackets prior to the game. He also shared memories of his time with the Macon Braves
in 1995, a team that included Kevin Millwood and Andruw Jones.
“It’s tough mentally and physically to get through an A-ball season and come out successful on the other side,” he said. “That’s really what I mainly remember about A-ball, what a grind it was. But the team was great. A lot from that team I still talk to.”