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Braves greats take in '90s Braves documentary

Smoltz, Pendleton among those in Atlanta to watch MLB Network premiere
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Hall of Famers John Smoltz, Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz were among the dignitaries who gathered within The Battery Atlanta on Friday night to view the premiere of "MLB Network Presents: Atlanta Rules, The Story of the '90s Braves."

"I have seen some of the great documentaries MLB Network has done, so I have high expectations going into it," Smoltz said. "I'm intrigued, because you don't really think about what you're doing when you're doing it. It's kind of cool to see how they're going to put it together."

ATLANTA -- Hall of Famers John Smoltz, Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz were among the dignitaries who gathered within The Battery Atlanta on Friday night to view the premiere of "MLB Network Presents: Atlanta Rules, The Story of the '90s Braves."

"I have seen some of the great documentaries MLB Network has done, so I have high expectations going into it," Smoltz said. "I'm intrigued, because you don't really think about what you're doing when you're doing it. It's kind of cool to see how they're going to put it together."

Serving as the opening event for the first Braves Chop Fest weekend, the screening of this documentary allowed some of the team's stars from the 1990s to reminisce about the greatest era in franchise history. Atlanta won five National League pennants, captured the city's only World Series title and saw the club's streak of 14 consecutive division titles begin during that memorable decade.

"I remember very vividly the years of the '90s and the Braves' excellent baseball during those years and the awakening of the city of Atlanta to Braves baseball after we went from worst to first in 1991," said Schuerholz, who served as the club's general manager from 1991-2007. "I'm looking forward to seeing how this film characterizes that and shows it as a historical development for this organization."

Tweet from @Braves: Nobody better to talk about the 90���s Braves than Don Sutton, John Smoltz, Bobby Cox, John Schuerholz and Terry Pendleton! #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/xijoQEWkVU

Terry Pendleton -- who won the 1991 National League MVP Award -- Brad Clontz, Eddie Perez and John Rocker were among the team's other former players who gathered for the screening, which was shown on the 30-foot diagonal high-definition LED screen at Sports & Social, a sports bar that stands across from SunTrust Park.

"You start to think, 'Geez, I'm old,' when they start to do documentaries that involve you," Pendleton said. "I think it's just an honor and a privilege to be in a documentary. To come here with the city and the surrounding states not thinking too much about the Atlanta Braves and then to do what we did and have it extend 14 consecutive seasons was something special. It was something none of us ever dreamt of."

Set to premiere on MLB Network on Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. ET, the hour-long documentary will show how the Braves suddenly evolved from woeful to model organization under the direction of Schuerholz and Cox, who altered the shape of the organization while serving as the GM from 1985-90 and then reaped the benefits while serving as the team's manager from 1991-2010.

Portions of the documentary will include a discussion that Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine had in Cooperstown last summer, as they gathered to welcome Schuerholz into the hallowed Hall of Fame fraternity that now also includes Chipper Jones, the Braves icon who gained election on Wednesday, 28 years after being taken with the first overall pick in the 1990 MLB Draft.

"I remember asking Glavine what it would be like to play somewhere else and win," said Smoltz, who debuted for Atlanta in 1988. "Then the 1991 season happened, and we were as confident of a team as you'll ever see, thinking we could do it for three or four years easy. Then 10 years happens, and from that point forward, no one thought it could continue. When you get to 14 [consecutive division titles], it just doesn't seem real."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves