- Lynn Burkhead
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On the surface, there would hardly seem to be much in common between John Smoltz and Charlie Moore.
Smoltz, of course, is the longtime Atlanta Braves pitching ace, whose stellar career on the mound includes 175 wins including a 12-6 mark so far this season for the NL East leading Braves to go along with 154 career saves out of the bullpen and a lifetime ERA of 3.25.
Toss in seven All-Star Game appearances; the 1992 NLCS Most Valuable Player Award; the 1996 National League Cy Young Award (after a 24-win season); the 2002 National League Rolaids Relief Award (after an NL record 55 saves)…and we're just getting started with Smoltz's career accolades.
The Braves' pitcher has also posted a 13-4 career post-season mark and a 2-2 World Series record in five different Fall Classics, including the Braves' 1995 world championship run.
Add in a reputation as one of the game's greatest clutch performers from the mound see Smoltz's classic 10-inning Game 7 duel with Jack Morris in the 1991 World Series and it's easy to see why the Detroit, Mich., native is a future Hall of Famer.
What about Charlie Moore, you ask?
Well, the brash Bostonian talks a good game each and every week as the host of "Beat Charlie Moore," the popular reality-based fishing show that will air this "Bass Saturday" at 9:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
Ok, Charlie also plays a pretty good game, too, especially on the water with a rod and reel in his hand in piscatorial pursuits ranging from bass fishing to shark fishing with a little bit of everything else thrown in between.
On the water is exactly where ESPN Outdoor viewers will see Moore and Smoltz square off when this weekend's episode airs and the pair fishes for largemouth bass at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Fla.
Mickey's "Magic Kingdom" is also where viewers will find out the one thing that Moore and Smoltz actually do share in common.
What's that, you ask? Simple a burning love of competition in any shape, form, or fashion, I might add.
"He's a really good guy," Moore said of Smoltz, his fishing challenger this week. "He's quiet, but he's also very competitive."
Even at fishing, something that Moore says that the big league pitcher tries to sandwich in as much as possible around Smoltz's typical February to October baseball season and his love for the game of golf.
"He does fish," Moore said. "John has a 13 year old son that he loves to spend time with (fishing). Plus, he's got a stocked pond at home with hybrid stripers and some bass."
As viewers will see this weekend, it didn't take long for Smoltz's fishing skills and his competitive fire to kick in during the filming of the ESPN Outdoors show at Disney World.
And true to form, it also didn't take very long for the talkative New England bass angler Moore to begin to needle the more reserved Smoltz in an effort to gain a little competitive edge.
"I gave it to him (quiet respect) for an hour, then I started making my jokes and working him over," Moore laughed.
"He's a very big competitor, but hey, every one is a big competitor at the end of the day whether it's out there in the open or you're hiding it in your closet," he added.
"I brought him out of his shell a little bit you could tell he didn't want to lose."
So who actually won and who actually lost? Well, let's just say that Moore isn't giving away much prior to the airing of this weekend's episode.
"It was a good day," Moore allowed, while not spilling the beans, Boston baked beans or otherwise.
"Most athletes I've been out with, they're just that, athletes," Moore added. "They pick up what you're doing (on the water) pretty quick. They pick up what you're doing, see your strengths and mimic them."
"That's exactly what John did. He did it very well, too, and it was close at the end."
Of course, a little friendly natured fishing competition is only one aspect of the "Beat Charlie Moore" show each week.
Combine the Beantown Basser's supreme confidence in his abilities along with a willingness to try just about anything that a challenger brings, and well, you get a prescription for a lively, fast-paced, off-the-wall fishing show.
"You don't have need to like fishing to watch 'Beat Charlie Moore,'" said the show's host. "It's the ultimate fishing entertainment show."
"You can laugh, learn, and be entertained," he added. "You'll have a lot of fun if you'll sit down and watch it."
True to form, Moore has already found himself in such off-the-water situations as ranging from driving a Formula One racecar to skydiving.
In the episode airing this weekend, the 'Mad Fisherman' from Boston ended up in a batting cage taking a few cuts alongside big leaguer Smoltz, who is pretty handy with the lumber despite relatively few hitting opportunities these days.
"It was an action packed day, starting off with a little bass fishing and then going to Disney World's 'Wide World of Sports' complex and taking (batting practice) with the Atlanta Braves great," Moore said.
"That's a great day, I'd say."
In fact, it just might be the perfect day, even for Charlie Moore, braggadocios nature and all.
"If you can't have fun fishing at Walt Disney World with a major league pitcher, you might want to call it a day," he said.
And that's straight from the Beantown Basser himself.
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