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Friday, July 22, 2022

Ex-Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs outfielder Dwight Smith dies at 58

Dwight Smith, a runner-up for NL rookie of the year who played on Atlanta’s World Series-winning team in 1995, died Friday, the Braves announced. He was 58.

The Braves said the former outfielder and pinch-hitting specialist died of congestive heart and lung failure.

Smith played in the big leagues for eight years, starting out with the Chicago Cubs, splitting a season between the Angels and Baltimore Orioles before joining the Braves for his final two seasons.

His son, Dwight Jr., has also spent time in majors, most recently with Baltimore in 2020.

The elder Smith served mostly as a pinch-hitter with the Braves in 1995, hitting .252 with three homers and 21 RBI in 103 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 11:28 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dwight smith

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: July 22, 2022 at 11:50 PM (#6087915)
That sucks. That 1989 Cubs season was kinda miraculous and quite fun. I didn't know about late-bloomers then, heck I probably didn't fully realize he was already 25, he was a rookie, they're all young. He had an outstanding season and I was expecting several to come.
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 23, 2022 at 12:33 AM (#6087931)
He was a fine singer too, doing the national anthem before the game at least once.
   3. salvomania Posted: July 23, 2022 at 11:12 AM (#6087954)
That 1989 Cubs season was kinda miraculous and quite fun

Smith hit .324 as a rookie that year, finishing 2nd in NL Rookie of the Year voting to teammate and fellow OF Jerome Walton, who hit .293 and stole 24 bases as the Cubs' centerfielder.

With a still-potent Andre Dawson in RF, I could see folks being excited about the Cubs' outfield for the next few seasons.

Dawson had a fine 1990, with a 135 OPS+, but Smith (88) and Walton (83) both below average offensively and never again matched their .89 production.

At the time, Smith and Walton reminded me of another pair of rookie OFs, Al Bumbry and Rich Coggins of the 1973 Orioles. Coggins hit .319/.363/.468 with 19 steals, finishing 6th in AL ROTY, while Bumbry won the award, hitting .337/.398/.500, with 23 steals. Coggins would blaze the trail followed by Smith and Walton, never again approaching the heights of his rookie season, while Bumbry carved out a fine career with the Orioles, amassing 24.5 bWAR, including a 6.1 bWAR 1980 in which he hit .318 with 118 runs, 205 hits, and 44 steals while playing centerfield for a 100-win Earl Weaver squad.
   4. Brian C Posted: July 23, 2022 at 12:58 PM (#6087961)
The entirety of 1989 aside, my best single Dwight Smith memory was attending this game in 1991. I grew up in Florida, so seeing the Cubs was a once-a-year treat (at most) when we went to visit family in Wisconsin. Anyway, the Cubs fell behind 4-0 in the first inning to the Cards in that game and it looked like a lost cause, which was especially crushing with Greg Maddux on the mound for the Cubs. But Smith hit a 3-run homer in the 6th to tie it up, and the Cubs went on to win. Just another day in a forgettable season for the Cubs, but it felt pretty epic to me at the time ... such is the power pro athletes have.

RIP.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: July 23, 2022 at 11:39 PM (#6088045)
RIP.


For the record, I'm 51 years old, had congestive heart failure about 6 weeks ago, my lungs are also compromised (it's apparently related) along with a blood clot (again apparently related) so when I see a story like this it hits a bit more home than just a guy who was famous who died at a young age. (meanwhile the doctors are acting like I'll bounce back just find while fitting me for a permanent defibrillator)
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2022 at 12:32 AM (#6088052)
CFB - Having gotten to “know” you in some way through your posts here all these years, I sincerely hope you have many healthy years ahead.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: July 24, 2022 at 06:19 AM (#6088055)
Yep, get better CFB.
   8. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 24, 2022 at 06:30 AM (#6088056)
Here's wishing for better health for you, CFB.
   9. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 24, 2022 at 08:48 AM (#6088060)
Likewise, CFB. Take care of yourself and get better.
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 24, 2022 at 08:52 AM (#6088061)
And RIP to Smith. It’s sad to realize the players of your youth are now in their late 50s and 60s, even sadder when they start passing away.

I was reading an article yesterday about Barry Bonds and his post-baseball passion for bicycling. Part of it is no doubt that Barry Bonds simply can’t sit still and not work out, but part of it is also that he saw how his dad’s health deteriorated after his playing career and vowed to take better care of himself. Bobby died at at 57, the same age Barry is now and a year younger than Smith.

Here’s the article in case anyone is interested. You have to wade through some typical HOF/PED discussion first to get to the bicycling part.
   11. Miserable, Non-Binary Candy is all we deserve CoB Posted: July 24, 2022 at 09:55 AM (#6088068)
Best health wishes, CFB, just behind you in age (51 in about 3 weeks!) and I was in the hospital for 5 days with heart and lung issues about a year ago, so ... I understand.
Live long and prosper!
-S
   12. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 24, 2022 at 10:21 PM (#6088124)
CFB - Sorry to hear that, man. I remember meeting you at the SABR convention in St. Louis. Youz is good peoplez. I hope your health improves even more than the doctors expect.
   13. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 25, 2022 at 12:14 AM (#6088131)
Whoa, CFB, look after yourself mate. Get well soon.
   14. base ball chick Posted: July 25, 2022 at 02:30 PM (#6088202)
cardsfanboy Posted: July 23, 2022 at 11:39 PM (#6088045)
RIP.


For the record, I'm 51 years old, had congestive heart failure about 6 weeks ago, my lungs are also compromised (it's apparently related) along with a blood clot (again apparently related) so when I see a story like this it hits a bit more home than just a guy who was famous who died at a young age. (meanwhile the doctors are acting like I'll bounce back just find while fitting me for a permanent defibrillator)


- dammmm
get better soon. sounds like you got a post covid thing. o know a few other people that got post covid things and one of them had this same story

we've "known" each other for almost 20 years. time flies

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