ESPN Network: | | | | ABCSports | EXPN | INSIDER | FANTASY   

Ozzie Smith credits his determination in keeping his major league dreams alive.

 A Run Saved...
A host of Hall of Fame greats weigh the impact of Ozzie Smith's defensive wizardry.
Standard | Cable Modem

Monday, July 29, 2002
Ozzie Smith's career highlights


  • Click here for Ozzie Smith's season-by-season stats.

  • Drafted out of California Polytechnic University in the fourth round of the 1977 draft by the San Diego Padres, Smith signed for $5,000 and made the jump to the majors after just 68 professional games.

    The Golden touch
    Shortstops who have won at least four Gold Gloves:
    Player Gold Gloves
    O. Smith 13
    O. Vizquel 9
    L. Aparicio 9
    M. Belanger 8
    D. Concepcion 5
    A. Trammell 4
    T. Fernandez 4

  • San Diego's regular shortstop in 1978, Smith led the league in sacrifice hits with 28, finished fourth in stolen bases with 40, and was runner-up to Atlanta's Bob Horner for Rookie of the Year honors.

  • Smith won his first of 13 consecutive Gold Glove awards in 1980, the same year he would set the major league single-season record for most assists by a shortstop (621) and lead the league shortstops in total chances, putouts and double plays.

  • After the 1981 season, in which Smith was named to his first of 12 straight All-Star teams and led league shortstops in total chances, assists and fielding percentage, he was traded to the Cardinals for shortstop Garry Templeton.

  • In the 1982 National League Championship Series, Smith hit .556 with three doubles in a sweep of the Atlanta Braves, then went on to help the Cardinals to the World Series championship in seven games over the Milwaukee Brewers. In the offseason, he signed a three-year contract that made him baseball's first $1 million shortstop. Said Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog of Smith at the time of the signing, "He took two hits or a run away from our opponents every game last year. That's just as important as a guy who drives in runs."

  • Hit .435 -- including a decisive home run in Game 5 -- and was named MVP in the 1985 NLCS against the Dodgers.

  • Finished second to Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs in the 1987 National League MVP voting. He finished the season with career bests in batting average (.303), hits (182), runs scored (104), doubles (40), on-base percentage (.394), slugging percentage (.383) and RBI (75).

  • Set the NL record for fewest errors in a season by a shortstop with eight in 1991.

    At the plate
    Known for his defensive wizardry, Smith's offensive production improved with age:
    1978-84 1985-96
    Avg. .238 .277
    Runs PG 0.44 0.56
    RBI PG 0.26 0.36

  • In 1992, he collected his 2,000th hit, 500th stolen base and won his 13th consecutive Gold Glove Award to break the NL record held by Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente.

  • Passed Luis Aparicio for the career assist record for a shortstop in 1994.

  • Smith, who becomes the 20th shortstop elected to the Hall of Fame, set the following major league records for his position: most assists (8,375), most double plays (1,590), most total chances accepted (12,624), most years with 500 or more assists (8), and most years leading the league in assists and chances accepted (8).

    For the record

  • Led NL shortstops in fielding percentage eight times (1981-1982, 1984-1987, 1991, and 1994).
  • Led NL shortstops in games five times (1980-1981, 1985, 1987, 1989).
  • Led NL shortstops in putouts twice (1980 and 1983).
  • Led NL shortstops in assists eight times (1979-1982, 1985, 1987-1989).
  • Led NL shortstops in double plays five times (1980, 1984, 1986-1987, and 1991).
  • Led NL in sacrifice hits in 1978 and 1980.

    Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories