Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Lee Smith

This has been sitting in my email for a few days but it's worth posting. Lee Smith ought to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Until his record was broken by Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith held the record for most saves. As such, if the Hall of Fame writers allow players like Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage in the Hall, they ought to make room for Lee Smith, too.
Many baseball observers believe Lee Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Smith hopes that belief someday translates into his own plaque in the Cooperstown, N.Y., shrine.

"I surely hope we get that," said Smith, who threw out the first pitch and signed autographs at the Corn Crib Saturday. "It was good to see Bert Blyleven (elected). I hope he gets out of the way and helps me get some of the votes.

"But to actually be thought of in the same breath with some of those guys, Fergie Jenkins and a good friend of mine Harmon Killebrew, is really a good feeling."

Smith ranks third on baseball's career saves list with 478. The hard-throwing right-hander pitched from 1980 to ‘97 including stints of eight years with the Chicago Cubs, three years with the Boston Red Sox and four years with the St. Louis Cardinals.[...]

Currently working as a roving pitching instructor in the San Francisco Giants farm system, Smith said he enjoyed his time in Chicago and St. Louis but has to root for the Cubs when the heated rivals meet.

"I've got a couple guys on that coaching staff who are my buddies, Bobby Dernier and Ivan DeJesus," said Smith. "But in my heart, I've always been a Cardinal fan. I love the city and who wouldn't want to pitch in St. Louis in that era?

"You've got the big ballpark and Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee behind you. And the city itself is baseball knowledgeable. I have a lot of love for both of those cities."
Similarly, Marvin Miller should be in the Hall of Fame as well. The only reason I thought of his importance is that I watched Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story earlier this evening. Take out his leadership of the Players' Association and free agency would be a completely different animal altogether in this day and age. Sandy Koufax, before retiring, threw his support behind Miller.

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