Wednesday, January 9, 2013

#283 Reggie Smith - Super Veteran


Baseball Card Database
Then and Now:  In 1966 Reggie Smith was still learning the outfield.  He was signed as a shortstop and in the minors was moved around the infield from thirdbase to secondbase.  He evolved into a darn good centerfielder before sliding over to rightfield with the Cardinals and Dodgers.  By 1983 Smith was in playing Japan relegated by health and age to firstbase duties.
The later picture must have been taken early in spring training since Smith wore number 14 during the season.  I wonder who the players are on the edge of the infield in the background.
Career Span: 9/18/1966 to 10/3/1982  The late 60's Red Sox didn't have a lot of older veterans on their roster but Smith did play with Elston Howard who starred with the Yankees starting in 1955. 
With the Giants he played with rookie Chili Davis who would play until 1999.
All-Star: Smith made seven All-Star teams, two in the AL and five in the NL. He hit a home un off Catfish Hunter in the 1973 contest and lifetime was 3 for 13. 
League Leader: Doubles in '68 and '71, total bases in '71, on base percentage in '77, and sac flies in '78.
All-Time:  I have to dig a little deeper than most super vets-
Sacrifice Flies: 68th, 86
Intentional Walks: 87th, 115
OPS+: 137, 97th
Total Zone Runs: 81st, 78
Gold Glove:  He won just one Gold Glove, 1968.
Silver Slugger: NA
Postseason:  Smith played in the postseason in '67, '77, '78,and '81 reaching the World Series each year.  Cumulative playoff stats: .234/.303/.449 with 6 HR in 119 plate appearances.  Won a ring in '81.
MVP:  Finished 4th in NL '77 and '78.  11th in NL in '74 and received a few stray votes in '69 through '72.
Hall of Fame: Sanders received just three votes when he became eligible in 1988.  Twenty-nine other players received votes that year.  Sanders had more career WAR (60.6) than all but two of them (Santo, Tiant).  Willie Stargell (54.2 WAR) was the only one to get elected by the Baseball Writers that year.
I'm not saying Smith belongs in the Hall but he should have received more consideration than Mark Belanger, Roy Face, Manny Mota, and a few others who received more votes than him.
Baseball Card Database

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