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Ozzie Smith

Main facts on Ozzie:

This page was made mainly for my desire for Ozzie Smith. It is in no way associated with Ozzie, Major League Baseball, or the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Organization.

Today you will learn about the greastest defensive shortstop in Major League history. His name is Osborne Earl Smith. As you already know he is my all-time faviorate player. I will talk mainly about his career, but I will also tell a little about his life outside of baseball.

Ozzie played college ball at California State Poly at San Luis Obispo, but before that Ozzie played high school ball at Locke High along with Eddie Murray. While at college Ozzie was offered contracts from the San Diego Padres and the Detroit Tigers. Of course he went to the San Diego Padres. He played only 68 games in the minors before joining the Padres MLB team.

Ozzie's rookie year was in 1980. On April 20, 1978 he made what is considered by some to be the greatest defensive play in MLB history. It was a hit up the middle. Ozzie dove and the ball took a bad hop. It looked to be a clean single. Then suddenly, Ozzie reached up with his bare hand and caught the ball. He stood up and made a perfect throw to get the runner out at first. He set a career high with games played in a season with 159. He was also runner-up for rookie of the year to Bob Horner.

In 1979 Ozzie led all NL shortstops with 555 assists.

In 1980 he won his first Gold Glove. He had career highs with 609 total at-bats, 57 stolen bases, 621 assists, 933 total chances, and 113 double plays.

In 1981 he led all NL shortstops with 422 assists, 658 total cahnces, and a .976 fielding percentage. He was selected to his first NL All Star Team and he won his second straight Gold Glove.

1982 was a good year for Ozzie. Mainly in my view because he was traded from the San Diego Padres to my faviorate team, the St. Louis Cardinals, on Febuary 11 for Gary Templeton. He won his third straight Gold Glove and was on the NL All Star Team for the second straight year. He also led the league in assists for the fourth straight year. He went to the playoffs for the first time in his career. He hit .556 in the NLCS vs. the Braves which the Cardinals won. In the World Series vs. the Brewers he hit .208. The Cardinals won. It would be the only World Series win for Ozzie.

In 1983 Ozzie was considered the Majors best shortstop. He had career bests with 304 put outs. He was voted to the NL All Star Team for the third straight year and he won his fourth straight Gold Glove.

In 1984 he was the AP, UPI, and The Sporting News' premiere shortstop. He was to his fourth straight NL All Star Team. He won his fifth straight Gold Glove.

In 1985 Ozzie was voted to his fifth straight NL All Star Team. He was the only player tp play the whole All Star Game. He was the toughest player to strike out in the Majors with only 1K in every 22.7 at bats. He was the highest payed player in the Majors at $2.175 million. He won his sixth straight Gold Glove. He had career highs with 6 home runs. In the 1985 NLCS vs. the Dodgers he hit what is known as the "Go Crazy" home run. He hit .435 in the NLCS and was the MVP of the series. He had a bad World Series in which he hit only .087. The Cardinals lost the Series to the Royals.

In 1986 Ozzie was again the toughest player to strike out in the Majors with only 1K in every 19.4 at bats. He was voted to his sixth straight NL All Star Team and won his seventh straight Gold Glove. He made 2 of his 3 faviorate plays in '86. He also recieved the Father of the Year Award.

1987 was Ozzie's greatest year. He set career highs with 104 runs, 182 hits, 40 doubles, 75 RBI's, 89 walks, a .392 on base percentage, a .383 slugging percentage, a .303 batting average, and a .987 fielding percentage. He was named to The Sporting News' Silver Slugger Team. He recieved Number One Sports Figure Award in St. Louis. He won his eighth straight Gold Glove. He was the top vote getter in All Star balloting with 1,215,183 votes. He was the runner-up in NL MVP voting. He hit .200 in the NLCS vs. the Giants and .214 in the World Series vs. the Twins. The Cardinals lost the Series.

In 1988 Ozzie won his ninth straight Gold Glove. He was again the top vote getter in All Star balloting with 2,106,757 votes. Matched career high with 57 stolen bases. He was also selected to the UPI NL All Star Team.

In 1989 Ozzie won his tenth straight Gold Glove. Only player to win it in every year in the 80's. Named Shortstop of the Decade by Sports Illustrated. He set a career high with 8 triples. He won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. He was also voted to his ninth straight NL All Star Team.

In 1990 Ozzie won his eleventh straight Gold Glove. He was named to the Street and Smith Baseball Magazine Dream Team. It was made up of the best players over the last 50 years. He was voted to his tenth straight NL All Star Team.

In 1991 Ozzie won his twelth straight Gold Glove and was voted to his eleventh straight NL All Star Team. He matched a career high with a fielding percentage of .987.

In 1992 Ozzie achived milestones of 2,000 hits, 500 steals, and 7,000 assists. He won his thirteenth straight Gold Glove and was voted to his twelth straight NL All Star Team. He recieved the St. Louis Man of the Year Award. He was also elected to the National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame.

In 1993 Ozzie's Gold Glove and All Star streaks were ended because of injury. But in 1994 Ozzie was back in the All Star Game . He was the top vote getter among all NL players. He recieved the Branch Rickey Award for personifying "service above self."

In 1995 Ozzie was again the top vote getter among all NL players. He won the Roberto Clemente Award for great work in his community. He set a career low with 7 errors. He was the Majors oldest opening day shortstop since 1950 at age 40.

1996 was the last year for Ozzie. He announced his retirement on June 19,1996. He was selected to the NL All Star Team for the final time. He set a career low with 9 strikeouts. He also announced that after the 1996 season he would host a weekly baseball show called This Week in Baseball or TWIB. Ozzie's uniform number 1 was retired on Ozzie Smith Day at Busch Stadium.

Records broken by Ozzie:


Other Interesting Links

MY GUESTBOOK: EVERYONE COME SIGN PLEASE
Ozzie Smith: Second best to mine
Ozzie Smith: Third best to mine

Nathan Hill

nh83@hotmail.com
1926 West County Rd.
Jerseyville, IL 62052
United States



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