Saturday, April 4, 2015

Countdown to Opening Day #1

And there was 1.  After playing in Memphis last night, the Cardinals have an off day before heading to Chicago for tomorrow night's game.  I do not expect many runs to be scored with Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester pitching.  It will be nice to watch games that count again.  As for card #1

1999 Upper Deck Retro  Inkredible Ozzie Smith

Ozzie Smith may have been the best fielding shortstop to ever play the game.  He won 13 Gold Gloves, 11 of them with the Cardinals.  He helped the Cardinals win the World Series in his first year with the team in 1982.  He wore #1 his entire Cardinals career from 1982-1996.  The Cardinals reitired his #1 in 1996.  His last season in St. Louis was filled with controversy.  Tony LaRussa urged the front office to bring in a younger shortstop to be groomed as Ozzie's replacement.  The Cardinals traded for Royce Clayton in December of 1995.  LaRussa declared an open competition for the starting shortstop position during 1996 spring training between Smith and Clayton.  Even though Smith outplayed him, Clayton was named the starter and would receive the bulk of the playing time during the year.  Before he decided to retire, Smith briefly considered signing with another team and play the 1997 season.  To this day, Smith and LaRussa do not get along.  It is custom for retired Cardinal greats to go to spring training as guest instructors, but Smith only did so once Mike Matheny became manager. 

I think Ozzie has one of the best looking autos out there. It is very legible, something many current players auto's are not. 

No comments:

Post a Comment