March 02, 2011
Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Mark Wohlers and his family escaped the jam of their lives — thanks to Wohlers' wife — and made it out of their burning house alive and uninjured.
Nearly everything else they own was a total loss after their home in north suburban Atlanta took less than an hour to burn to the ground early Tuesday morning.
Wohlers, who pitched 12 seasons in the majors, was on the mound for the last out when the Braves beat the Indians in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series. It was the Braves' first championship since the franchise moved to Atlanta in the mid-1960s.
This time, the sense of relief runs much deeper for Wohlers. Quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Wohlers credited his wife, Kimberly Wohlers, with a save for all time:
"Just let whoever cares about us know that my wife [Kimberly] was the hero," Wohlers told the AJC. "She got everybody up and out of the house quicker than I can blink an eye."
Kimberly Wohlers woke up her husband, then ran upstairs to get the children, 7- and 3-year-old boys and a 5-year-old girl, Wohlers said.
As the couple watched the house burn, "we just looked at each other and said, ‘Everything that's important got out safely,'" Wohlers said.
It took firefighters 45 minutes to knock down the fire. Milton Fire Chief Robert Edgar said the house is a total loss.
"The roof is made of cedar shakes and once they're involved in any kind of fire, they just take off," Edgar said. "And we had a strong wind blowing from the north. We had some difficult times."
[Check out the AJC's photo gallery of the fire]
The fire started on the porch, but its cause has not been determined by the fire department. It wasn't started by weather.
As the sun rose, firefighters were able to retrieve some of Wohlers' trophies and memorabilia from a room in the basement. Wohlers was an All-Star in 1996 and finished his career with 119 saves, not including 10 more in the playoffs. He also played for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians before retiring in 2002.
He and his wife run a real estate business in Alpharetta, Ga., they call Team Wohlers.
And the team functioned perfectly, thanks to the Mrs., in (hopefully) its biggest crisis ever.
Follow Yahoo! Sports on Facebook and be the first to know about the most interesting stories of the day.