The Wizard of Oz, Ozzie Smith premier shortstop with his essence of pride and team spirit embodied in the challenge of winning ballgames, ruled the baseball infield for 20 years. During the 1980's & 1990's, fans were treated to viewing one of the best fielding SS in history. To watch The Wizard of Ah's was to see a combination of ballet, gymnastics and unparalleled fielding wizardry. Ozzie Smith won nine consecutive Gold Glove Awards and set the major league record for SS for assists in a single season (621). He also holds the record for the most years gathering 500 or more assists in a season and tied the record for the most years leading a league in assists with 7 and most years leading in chances accepted - 7.
He also tied the record for the most years leading in fielding average (6) and set the major league record for the highest fielding average for a shortstop .987 in 1987. Ozzie Smith played his first three years with the San Diego Padres, 1978-1981 and was traded in the 1981 season to the St. Louis Cards. He helped lead the Cardinals to the pennant and in the 1982 WS win, he set a major league record for most putouts in a seven game WS with 22. With the Cardinals, Ozzie Smith developed into a fine hitter and in 1987 batted .303, scored 101 runs, whacked 40 doubles, second highest in the league, stole 43 bases and was 2nd in the MVP balloting. In 1988, The Oz stole 57 bases, hit .279 and scored 80 runs. Ozzie Smith's career stats- .262 BA, .340 on-base-pct, hits 2265, he scored 1154 runs, stole 563 bases, 992 W, 542 K's in 2349 games.