Ozzie Smith is known in baseball as “The Wizard” and the best defensive shortstop of all time. He was a first ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Ozzie retired from baseball in 1996 after playing 19 years in the major leagues, the first four years with the San Diego Padres and the final fifteen with the St. Louis Cardinals. His nickname describes the way he played shortstop—he performed magic with his glove and performed in the infield with amazing acrobatic agility.
Ozzie broke countless records during his nineteen years in the majors:
- All-time assist leader at shortstop with 8,375 assists
- All-time leader at turning double plays, with 1,590
- 13 consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, signifying the best at his position
- Started at shortstop for 10 consecutive years in the All Star Game, and was the number one vote getter over-all for the 1987 and 1988 All Star Games.
Other noteworthy baseball accomplishments include:
- Earned his 2000th hit in 1992, finishing his career with 2,460 hits
- Consistently one of the toughest hitters to strike out and in 1994 joined his friend Eddie Murray as the only two active players with seventeen straight 100 hit seasons.
- Was named to the All Century 100 Best Baseball Players of the 20th Century by Major League Baseball.
- Selected as the shortstop on the 50 year Anniversary Rawlings Gold Glove Team and inducted into the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame in 2011.