h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Ozzie Smith

Ozzie 1987 backOzzie 1987 Front

So in addition to being the wizard, Ozzie somehow became America’s preeminent casual dresser. I was quite unaware of the fashions of the 80s, as you would mostly find me in He-Man footies, but, given the way Smith patrolled the diamond, it’s not hard to think of him in suave attire.

While he was a sweet fielder, the Padres were never impressed with his bat. As a Padre, he batted .231 with a .295 OBP. While he was second in the rookie of the year voting and accumulated two gold gloves, they had no problem shipping the future better version of Luis Aparicio to St. Louis for, essentially, Sixto Lezcano and Garry Templeton. That would be a big mistake.

In 1982, at age 27, Smith would post a .339 OBP. He would go on to post an incredibly serviceable .352 OBP from 1982 – 1994. According to Baseball Reference, Smith had a higher career WAR than Ernie Banks, Jackie Robinson, Mark McGwire, Dave Winfield, Andre Dawson and a great percentage of players who stepped onto a diamond.

Still, I’m perfectly willing to let the 1987 card put the footnote on an impeccable career that went beyond offensive statistics. The smooth wizard simply knew his way around a blazer and acid-washed jeans combination.

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