Hey baseball fans!
Matt Nadel here of Baseball with Matt with some more on America’s Pastime. There are many types of Hall of Famers: contact hitters, power hitters, power pitchers, clutch pitchers, all around hitters, speedsters, and many more. But the most rare group of HoFers is the group that includes players that are known for their fielding. Some of these fielding geniuses include Brooks Robinson, Max Carey, and the man famous for his backflips, Ozzie Smith!
Smith played for the Padres and Cardinals from 1978-1996. During his career, the Wizard of Oz collected 2,460 hits, 28 homers, and drove in 793 runs. These aren’t very good stats for a Hall of Famer, but he made 15 All Star Games for a reason: his excellent fielding. The best shortstop of his era was a 13-time Gold Glove Award winner (in succession, 1980-1992). Smith set Major League shortstop records for assists, double plays and total chances. He also developed into a threat on the bases, finishing up his great career with 580 steals (22nd all time). However, it was his only career postseason home run that made him a legend, ending the 1985 NLCS against the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth of Game Five with a dinger that barely got over the wall.
According to Cardinals announcer Jack Buck, when Ozzie made a good play or hit a big homer, all the fans in Missouri would go crazy, which would explain why he got elected into the Hall in 2002 with 91.7% of the vote. The bottom line is that the Wizard is one of the greatest fielders of all time and also one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”