Lee Smith (baseball)
Lee Arthur Smith was scouted by Buck O’Neil and drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1975 MLB Draft. He held the major league record for career saves from 1993 until 2006, when San Diego Padres relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman passed his total of 478. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on December 9, 2018, as part of the Today’s Game Era Committee.
About Lee Smith (baseball) in brief
Lee Arthur Smith is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played 18 years in Major League Baseball for eight teams. Smith was scouted by Buck O’Neil and drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1975 MLB Draft. He held the major league record for career saves from 1993 until 2006, when San Diego Padres relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman passed his total of 478. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on December 9, 2018, as part of the Today’s Game Era Committee vote. Smith also served as the pitching coach for the South Africa national baseball team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and 2009 World baseball Classic. He is a minor-league roving pitching instructor for the San Francisco Giants. Smith is a member of the Louisiana State University baseball team. He has a son and a daughter with former Chicago Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, who was a teammate of Smith’s at Northwestern State University. He also has a grandson with former Cubs outfielder Billy Williams, who played for the team from 1978 to 1982. Smith has a great deal of respect for former Cubs star pitcher Dick Tidrow, who helped him develop his delivery. He says Tidrow taught him how to use the slider and forkball, and how to set up hitters. Smith’s son is a former MLB All-Star who played with the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs. He currently lives in San Francisco and works as a pitching instructor at the minor league level with the Giants. His son has also worked as a minor league pitching instructor with the New York Mets and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, among other teams.
He had a son with ex-Cubs star pitcher Billy Williams. Smith and his wife have a daughter and a son who plays for the Oakland A’s and the San Diego A’s, among many other teams, including the St. Louis Cardinals and the Oakland Athletics, among others. Smith currently lives with his wife and two daughters in San Diego, California, and has a daughter who is a professional baseball coach. He retired in 2011 after 18 years of professional baseball. He still holds the team records for saves for the Cubs and the Cardinals, and he also held the Cardinals record until 2006. Smith pitched 1,022 career games pitched, the third-most in history when he retired. Smith had a 95-mile per hour fastball and was an intimidating figure on the pitcher’s mound at 6 feet, 6 inches and 265 pounds. In 1991, he set a National League record with 47 saves, and was runner-up for the league’s Cy Young Award. Smith made his major league debut with the Cubs on September 1, 1980, against the Atlanta Braves. He pitched one inning, giving up no hits, striking out one and walking two. He finished the season for the last-place Cubs and was invited back to the majors for 1981. A streak of poor pitching was interrupted by the 1981 Major League baseball strike, and Smith finished with an ERA of 3. 51. In 1983, Smith had his best season in the majors without allowing any runs while allowing only three hits and allowing only one run. Smith started five games from mid-June to early July.