The Greatest Defensive SS of the past 30 Years!
- Updated: January 4, 2008
Ozzie Smith (the Wizard of Oz) of the St. Louis Cardinals
See his career stats from Baseball-Reference .
- He has compiled 13 straight Gold Gloves at SS from 1980 to 1992
- He has been selected to 15 All Star gameso
- 12 Consecutive from 1981 to 1992
- Then 3 more consecutive appearances between 1994 and 1996
- He has started 11 out of the 15 All Star games
- Only once did he not play (1995)
When I was younger and still playing baseball I wanted to play SS because of the Wizard of Oz, Ozzie Smith! I saw him make amazing play after amazing play. He would throw guys out mid-jump, both vertically and horizontally, even when his momentum was heading towards 3B. I have a very fond memory of watching him in an all out dive towards third, catch the ball and throw the batter out before even hitting the ground (remember, he’d have to throw this while in the air and across his body to do this). Utterly mind-blowing!
I have never seen any other SS make SO many amazing, jaw-dropping plays in their career, never mind as many as Ozzie would make in a given season. He is arguably the most athletic SS to have ever played the game. Sure, he wasn’t a great hitter, heck, he was barely an average hitter at times and with almost no pop in his bat. Although, he was clutch later in his career when the Cardinals needed him to be! He had his best years at the plate three-fourths of the way through his career and he posted pretty good OBP numbers most of the time. He simply took your breath away on a regular basis defensively, back flips included for emphasis! J
Has any other player in recent times been selected into the Hall of Fame purely on the defensive prowess? I honestly can not think of one, but I’m sure there’s a few guys out there.
If anyone out there has one of those player videos on him I’d be interested to hear how I could get my hands on a copy!
**If you Agree or Disagree, please speak your mind in the comment section!**
Keith at www.baseballevolution.com wrote: Bill Mazeroski, voted in for defensive reasons in 2001. Like Smith, he also has some unlikely postseason heroics to his credit.