Sunday, March 4, 2007

100 Greatest Red Sox >> #47 Reggie Smith

Reggie Smith, OF, #7 (1966-73)

1014 G, 1064 H, 149 HR, 536 RBI, 84 SB, .281 Avg, .354 OBP, .471 SLG

Switchhitter Reggie Smith came up to the Red Sox in 1966 at the age of 21. He became known for his decent power, his high batting averages, and his good on-base percentages. Smith contributed 2 HR's in the 1967 World Series. He won a Gold Glove for the Red Sox in 1968, hit over .300 three times and led the AL in doubles in 1968 and 1971. He was the first African-American star for the Red Sox, paving the way for Jim Rice later in the 70's. The Red Sox had a bad reputation when it came to baseball intergration, and the city was not always the kind to minorities.

Reggie was traded to St. Louis Cardinals along with Ken Tatum in October 1973. In return the Sox received two key members of the 1975 AL Champions - Pitcher Rick Wise and OF Bernie Carbo. Smith went on to great success in the National League, being named to the NL All Star team in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, and 1980. Smith hit 3 HR in a game on May 22, 1976. He ended up with the Dodgers midway through 1976. The well balanced Dodgers, led by the hitting and defense of Smith as well as Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Davey Lopes, Dusty Baker and the pitching of Don Sutton, Tommy John, Burt Hooten, won the NL pennant in 1977 and 1978. Each time they lost the World Series to the dreaded New York Yankees. Smith finally earned a World Series ring with the 1981 Dodgers. He played one more season with the San Francisco Giants, then retired. At that time he was 2nd only to Mickey Mantle in HR's by a switch hitter. He ended up hitting 100 HR in each league.

After his playing career ended, Smith rejoined the Dodgers, where he served as a coach under Tommy Lasorda , a minor league instructor and a player development official. Smith also served as hitting coach for Team USA during the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

Despite playing only 8 seasons of his 17 year career in Boston, Reggie ranks 26th with over 1,000 games played and over 3,700 ABs, scoring 592 runs (just one behind Manny Ramirez). He ranks 16th on the Red Sox career HR list, with 149 roundtrippers.
This 100 Greatest Red Sox biography was written by SoxFan of http://soxfanzone.blogspot.com/.

4 comments:

Ron said...

Reggie finished his playing career with Yomiuri Giants...

Fred W. said...

One of the best arms I've ever seen. He absolutely wore a rifle for an outfielder

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