Today my son Gabe and I went to Johnny Mac’s Sporting Good Store in Crestwood to see Lee Smith. So of course my son asked me who is Lee Smith? My response of course was he use to pitch for the Cardinals from 1990 to 1993, but the most important thing to know is that he is #3 in all-time saves with 478 in Major League Baseball, Gabe’s response was, cool. The line was long but moved quickly to get Lee Smith’s signature. As we got closer Gabe wanted to give the ball to Lee Smith to get his signature. I told him to make sure to ask him to sign on the sweet spot. As Gabe made his way up in front of the table where Lee Smith was sitting he handed him his ball and said “Could you sign on the sweet spot?”. Mr Smith replied “Sure what do you want me to write on the ball?” Gabe said “Your name please, oh and could you put the number of saves on the ball?” Lee said “Sure, but can you show me where the sweet spot is?” Gabe then looked at me and I told him to show him. Gabe felt as if he was put on the spot, his first response was ummm. He then told Smith, “Wait a minute it’s right here” as he pointed at the sweet spot. After Lee signed the ball Gabe told him thanks and I got to shake his hand. What a grip he had after he released his hand from mine. It was a nice to meet the 6’4 righty reliever. He was very cordial and talkative with the youth that was there to see him. He wanted to know if the kids played baseball and what position they played. Gabe was happy to tell him he loves to play short stop and second base.
It was a fun afternoon and very memorable for Gabriel and I. Lee Smith is not only # 3 in all times saves but Gabriel’s first signature of a possible Hall of Famer in the near future.
Here are some fun facts about Lee Smith I did not know about. Lee Smith was scouted by Buck O’Neil before he was drafted by the Cubs in 1975. Smith has also been up for Hall of Fame induction nine times since 2003.