Monday, June 30, 2014
no. 305 - reggie smith
Who is the man: Reggie Smith was rounding into form as one of the top American League talents in 1971. He had just enjoyed two straight .300 seasons, the first two of his career. He would play in a career high 159 games in 1971.
Can ya dig it: Just an awesome card. Smith, a switch-hitter, is posing left-handed, which was his home run side.
Right on: It appears as if there are some reporters congregating in the background.
You see this cat Smith is a bad mother: Smith charged into the stands behind the Dodgers' dugout in San Francisco in 1981 after a Dodger-bating fan threw a plastic helmet at him. Nine fans were arrested.
Shut your mouth: Bob Gibson, who was Smith's teammate in 1974 and 1975, called him "Spike," after the angry cartoon guard dog in Bugs Bunny cartoons.
No one understands him but his woman: Smith, who encountered racism when he played in Boston, ended his career in Japan, where he also encountered racist incidents and a series of misunderstandings. Smith and his son, Reggie Smith Jr., were assaulted by fans after he punched out a heckler.
(A word about the back): Smith looks very young to me here. I first became acquainted with Smith from his 1976 Topps card, and then later, of course, as a member of the late '70s Dodgers. He was a veteran by then and very good at what he did. I was surprised when I first learned he had an earlier career in Boston.