Sunday, September 18, 2022

1981 Topps Lonnie Smith


The front: Simple head shot, but a nice view of Veterans Stadium in the background.

The back: Smith's 33 stolen bases in 1980 were eight more than teammate Garry Maddox. He also stole a base in the NLCS.

The player: Lonnie Smith was probably best known for repeatedly falling down in the field and on the bases, but he was actually a very good player for a number of years. He played in the postseason for four different teams (Phillies, Cardinals, Royals and Braves), winning three World Series. In 63 postseason games he hit .278 with 4 HR, 17 RBI and 8 SB. These are right in line with his regular season numbers (1,613 games, .288 with 98 HR, 533 RBI and 370 SB). His best season was 1982, when he led the NL with 120 runs scored, hitting .307 with 8 HR, 69 RBI and 68 SB.

The man: Smith had a lot of trouble with drug use during his career, and was one of the key players involved in the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials. After his career Smith has led a clean, low-key life in retirement, reportedly as a stay-at-home-dad for his three children. He was one of four living members of the 1982 Cardinals who did not travel to St. Louis for last month's 40th anniversary reunion.

My collection: I have 72 of his cards, from 1979 to 1995. I would be interested in trading for 1982 Fleer Stamps #60.

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