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The Other Reggie
2008-05-15 10:16
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Again, apropos of nothing, but man, he was pretty damn good, huh?

Comments
2008-05-15 11:38:25
1.   JL25and3
Steve Garvey may have been the poster boy, but in 1977-8, Smith was a much better player.
2008-05-15 12:02:56
2.   Dimelo
One thing about Reggie, he sure knew how to strikeout a lot. Smith didn't K nearly as much.
2008-05-15 12:35:14
3.   Alex Belth
Smith flat out did a lot of things well. Got a bum deal in Boston then flourished with the Cards and especially the Dodgers. Had the red ass, which was admired if you were white. Instead he was labeled as a trouble maker. Played in Japan too. David Halberstam wrote a profile on him for Playboy when he was over there.
2008-05-15 12:49:00
4.   Linkmeister
In the mid-1980s he owned an office supply company in LA and made a sales call on the company I worked for. He was bigger than television made him appear, but very trim. He handed out a couple of autographed b&w photos in addition to his business card.
2008-05-15 12:59:02
5.   Josh Wilker
For some reason Bill Lee really made The Other Reggie see red, according to Lee's book The Wrong Stuff. Lee once noted within Smith's earshot Smith's habit of idolizingly copying Yaz, an observation that Smith resented. Later, Smith attacked Lee repeatedly during a game against the Tigers. The Tigers' pitcher hit Doug Griffen early in the game, then Lee waited until the Red Sox got a lead to retaliate, and when the time was right to hit a guy it was a black or hispanic guy, I forget who, and Smith thought Lee had purposely avoided hitting a white guy and attacked him in the dugout and then later in the clubhouse.

Lee wrote that Smith was the most talented player he ever played with. Given that, he probably deserved better than being traded away, but I don't think his departure is seen as a terrible deal by Sox fans. He brought Carbo and Cleveland back (I think) and by leaving cleared room for Dewey Evans and Fred Lynn.

2008-05-15 13:06:46
6.   Shaun P
5 The amount of OF talent the Sox had in those years, between Evans, Rice, Lynn, and Smith, is staggering. And it doesn't even include Yaz, who of course was primarily a 1B by that point.
2008-05-15 13:13:30
7.   Josh Wilker
6 : And Carbo, Rick Miller, and Juan Beniquez, who could have formed a starting outfield for some teams, all went on to have pretty long, decent major league careers (gold gloves, a famous World Series dinger, etc.).
2008-05-15 16:24:48
8.   underdog
I'll always see Reggie Smith as a Dodger; it was odd to even see this photograph for me. Came of age as a very young fan with the late 70s Dodgers. Forgot what a long career he'd already had by then. Odd guy but I always liked him.

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