Today’s #TBT sports blog features one of my favorite MLB players ever – former St. Louis Cardinals’ shortstop Ozzie The Wizard of Oz Smith.
If Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow were baseball fans, they’d be off to find Major League Baseball’s wonderful Wizard of Oz. He played not too far from the Gateway Arch in the old Busch Memorial Stadium in St, Louis, MO.
Ozzie Smith’s incredibly quick reflexes, unparalleled aptitude with his glove and accurate arm contributed to his magical, wizard like play at shortstop. Smith’s skills made him a most worthy recipient of his clever Wizard of Oz nickname.
The Wizard of Oz is Also Featured in Favorite Sports Nicknames on Amazon
The Wizard of Oz is also included in the #19 spot in my sports comic book titled Favorite Sports Nicknames available for only 99 cents on Amazon.
Osbourne Earl “Ozzie” Smith retired in 1996 as arguably the greatest shortstop in Major League Baseball history. A 1982 World Series champ with the St. Louis Cardinals, Ozzie Smith ended his stellar 19 year career as the all-time leader in career assists (8,375) and double plays by a shortstop (1,590). The “Wizard of Oz” also set a National League record of 2,511 consecutive starts at his position.
The 5’10” and 175 lb. magician with a glove captured the National League Gold Glove Award an unprecedented 13 years in a row. He was named National League all-star shortstop an incredible 15 times.
Baseball’s Hall of Fame Inductee: Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz’s defensive brilliance, coupled with an impressive 2,460 career hits and a lifetime .262 batting average, enabled him to whisk down baseball’s proverbial “yellow brick road” directly into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2002.
The St. Louis Cardinals retired Ozzie Smith’s #1 jersey in 1996. The Sporting News recognized his amazing defensive play and 2,000+ career hits by naming him #87 on its list of the top 100 greatest baseball players ever.
Baseball fans everywhere, even Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow would do back flips of excitement, just like the Cardinals’ Ozzie Smith, while watching this dazzling Wizard of Oz perform on the baseball field in St. Louis.
Remembering the Wizard of Oz in today’s #TBT sports blog is as easy as Ozzie Smith handling a ground ball from his shortstop position in a Cardinals’ uniform.
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!