How much is Ozzie Smith worth?
|Professional Baseball Shortstop
|Date of Birth:
|December 26, 1954
|United States of America
About Ozzie Smith
Although Smith participated in a number of sports as a child, baseball was his preferred sport. He practiced numerous sports and recreational activities, such as bouncing a ball off the concrete stairs in front of his house, getting closer with each throw to improve response time, to build rapid reflexes. When Smith and his buddies weren’t at the nearby YMCA or participating in sports, they would visit the neighboring lumberyard where they would springboard off of inner tubes and perform flips into heaps of sawdust. A precursor to his famous backflips.
In June 1976, while Smith was engaged in semi-pro baseball in Clarinda, Iowa, the Detroit Tigers selected him in the seventh round of the amateur entry draft. The sides were unable to come to terms on a contract because Smith requested a signing bonus of $10,000 (about $47,000 in today’s dollars), but the Tigers only offered $8,500 (or $44,477).
- Born: Dec. 26, 1954
- Hometown: Mobile, Ala.
- Height: 5-11
- Weight: 150 pounds
- Bats: Switch-hitter
- Throws: Right
- Family: Wife, Denise (divorced); sons Nikko and Dustin; daughter Taryn
- Primary position: Shortstop
Smith finished his final year at Cal Poly before being taken by the San Diego Padres in the fourth round of the 1977 draft. He ultimately signed a contract that paid a $5,000 signing bonus (equivalent to $22,359 in today’s dollars).
Smith played his first season of professional baseball in 1977 with the Northwest League’s Class A Walla Walla Padres.
ahead of the bigs:
Smith was raised in the Watts district of Los Angeles after his family relocated there when he was six years old. Smith was born in Mobile, Alabama.
attended Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo for college sports.
Smith was chosen by the Detroit Tigers in the seventh round of the amateur draft in June 1976 while he was playing semi-pro baseball in Iowa. Smith returned to Cal Poly for his final year because the Tigers’ $8,500 signing bonus was less than the $10,000 he had requested.
He signed a contract that included a $5,000 signing bonus after being selected by the San Diego Padres in the fourth round of the draft a year later. On April 7, 1978, Smith made his major league debut for the Padres.
Smith’s 19-year MLB career included four seasons with the Padres and the final 15 years with the St. Louis Cardinals. He is arguably the best defensive shortstop in history.
He finished second in the NL First of the Year voting in his rookie season after hitting.258 with a.970 fielding percentage.
He wasn’t regarded as a standout hitter because he never finished first in the National League in any hitting category for the course of his 19-year career, despite twice leading the league in sacrifice hits during his first three seasons in the big.
From 1980 through 1992, Smith won 13 consecutive Gold Glove awards. He came close to accomplishing that accomplishment by being selected to the NL All-Star team in all but one season—1980—and later added selections to the squads in 1994, 1995, and 1996.
He established major league records for career assists (8,375) and double plays (1,590), however Omar Vizquel later surpassed the latter number. In the history of the National League, Smith played shortstop in 2,511 more games than any other player.
In his 19 years, he collected 2,460 hits, stole 580 bases, and was named the National League’s Silver Slugger Award-winning shortstop in 1987 for his outstanding batting.
Smith gained popularity among the crowds, first in San Diego and then in St. Louis. He had a reputation for doing backflips before assuming his position at the start of a game on exceptional occasions.
Smith ran afoul of Padres management, particularly general manager Jack McKeon, and was exchanged for high-profile shortstop Garry Templeton by the Cardinals in 1982.
He assisted in the Cardinals’ first-season World Series victory. Three years later, the Cardinals qualified for the postseason once more, and Smith won the NLCS MVP award for hitting one of the most iconic home runs in history in Game 5 of the series.
Smith underwent surgery for a shoulder injury during the 1995 campaign, missing three months of play. Smith left the game after the conclusion of the 1996 campaign.
Smith ended his playing career with accomplishments including having cast more than 27.5 million votes in the All-Star Game voting.
Additionally owns the record for the most at-bats in a major league without a grand slam.
Smith succeeded Mel Allen as the host of the television program “This Week in Baseball.” after Allen retired.
Later, he worked as a color analyst for KPLR-local TV’s coverage of Cardinals games.
Smith received 91.7 percent of the voting and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2002.
Smith launched a young sports academy in 1988, opened “Ozzie’s” restaurant and sports bar two years later, and invested in a grocery store chain in 1999.
On The Sporting News’ selection of the top 100 players of 1999, Smith came in at number 87.
In 2012, Smith gained notoriety when he raised more than $500,000 by auctioning off all of his Gold Gloves.