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Carl Reginald Smith (born April 2, 1945) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder and afterwards served as a coach and front office executive. He also played in the Nippon Professional Baseball league for two seasons at the end of his playing career. During a seventeen-year major league career (1966–1982), Smith appeared in 1,987 games, hit 314 home runs and batted .287. He was a switch-hitter who threw right-handed. In his prime, he had one of the strongest throwing arms of any outfielder in the big leagues. Smith played at least 70 games in 13 different seasons, and in every one of those 13 seasons, his team had a winning record.

Reggie Smith
Reggie Smith 1969.jpg
Smith in 1969
Right fielder / Center fielder
Born: (1945-04-02) April 2, 1945 (age 74)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 18, 1966, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1982, for the San Francisco Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average.287
Hits2,020
Home runs314
Runs batted in1,092
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Playing careerEdit

Smith grew up in Los Angeles. He won the International League batting title in 1966 with a .320 average while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was called up to the major leagues late in that season and played for the Boston Red Sox (1966–73), St. Louis Cardinals (1974–76), Los Angeles Dodgers (1976–81) and San Francisco Giants (1982). Smith appeared in four World Series, including during his rookie 1967 season for the Red Sox, and three (1977, 1978 and 1981) for the Dodgers. He hit three home runs in the 1977 series.

In the 1978 season, Dodger pitcher Don Sutton went public with comments that Smith was a more valuable player to the Dodgers than the more-celebrated Steve Garvey. This led to an infamous clubhouse wrestling match between Sutton and Garvey.

In the 1981 season as a member of the Dodgers, Smith was taunted by Giants fan Michael Dooley, who then threw a batting helmet at him. Smith then jumped into the stands at Candlestick Park and started punching him. He was ejected from the game, and Dooley was arrested.[1] Five months later, Smith joined the Giants as a free agent. He spent one season in San Francisco, then moved on to Japan with the Yomiuri Giants for two seasons before retiring in 1984.

Career statisticsEdit

In 1987 games over 17 seasons, Smith posted a .287 batting average (2020-for-7033) with 2,020 hits, 1,123 runs, 363 doubles, 57 triples, 314 home runs, 1,092 RBI, 137 stolen bases, 890 base on balls, 1,030 strikeouts, a .366 on-base percentage, and a .489 slugging percentage. He recorded a career .978 fielding percentage. In four World Series and four playoff series covering 32 games, he hit .234 (25-for-107) with 17 runs, 6 home runs, and 17 RBI.

Coaching careerEdit

After his playing career ended, Smith rejoined the Dodgers, where he served as a coach under Tommy Lasorda, a minor league instructor and a player development official.

Smith became involved with USA Baseball in 1999 as hitting coach on the 1999 Professional Team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada (Silver, Olympic qualifiers). Smith again served as USA hitting coach in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia where the US Team took home Gold. He also served as hitting coach for the 2007IBAF Baseball World Cup in Taiwan (Gold). Smith also served as hitting coach for Team USA during the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and served as hitting coach for the Bronze medal winning USA Baseball Olympic team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[2]

Smith runs a baseball academy in Encino, California, where he trains youth players, including Austin Wilson.[3]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jeff Merron. "Players vs. Fans". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  2. ^ "2008 USA Baseball Olympic Team". Retrieved 2008-08-12.
  3. ^ "Stanford baseball's Austin Wilson's big potential". SFGate. 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2013-05-17.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Ben Hines
Los Angeles Dodgers Hitting Coach
1994–1998
Succeeded by
Rick Down