ATLANTA -- Veteran pitcher John Smoltz and his wife, Dyan, have decided to end their 16-year marriage. Smoltz's decision to divorce was revealed in an e-mail that his agent, Lonnie Cooper, sent on Friday night.
"John and Dyan Smoltz have mutually decided to end their marriage," Cooper said in the message. "At this time, their priority is with their family, specifically the well being of their four children. We ask that you please respect their privacy during this difficult time. The family will not be commenting on this personal matter."
Smoltz was married just before the start of the 1991 season. Their only son, John Andrew Jr., was born later that same year. Their three daughters -- Kelly Christina, Carly Maria and Rachel Elizabeth -- range in age from 7 to 13.
Earlier this week, while preparing for his 19th season for the Braves, Smoltz made no indication of the impending divorce. Instead he indicated that he was intent on preventing unnecessary stress from depleting his happiness.
"I've come to the point where I realize certain things were robbing my joy," Smoltz said on Tuesday afternoon. "Looking back on those things, they seem ridiculous. That's why this year I'm going to spend more time relaxing and enjoying things."
Smoltz, who will celebrate his 40th birthday in May, is entering the final year of his contract. During what could be his final season in Atlanta, he's once again targeted to serve as the Braves' ace. He posted a National League-high 16 wins last year, and over the course of the past two years, has combined for 461 2/3 innings during his first two seasons back in the starting rotation.
After beginning his Major League career in Atlanta in 1988, Smoltz remained in the Braves' rotation through the end of the 1999 season. He needed to undergo ligament-replacement surgery and missed the entire 2000 season. When he returned, he moved to the closer's role and needed just 3 1/2 seasons to set a franchise record with 154 saves.
Smoltz, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996, owns a Major League record 15 postseason wins. In his 40 playoff appearances (27 starts), he's posted a 2.65 ERA.
Along with his on-field success, Smoltz has also gained acclaim for his many charitable acts. His peers named him the Marvin Miller Man of the Year after the 2002 and 2003 seasons. When Major League Baseball presented him with the coveted Roberto Clemente Award in 2005, he indicated that it was the greatest honor he'd received during his career.
Since its inception in 1997, the John and Dyan Smoltz Foundation has raised millions of dollars aimed toward their many philanthropic efforts. A primary benefactor has been the Kings Ridge Christian School, which the veteran pitcher co-founded in 2001.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.