• Chris Lollis

St. Louis Cardinals: Lee Smith elected to the Hall of Fame

Lee Smith photo credit (Leon Algee/AP photo)

Former St. Louis Cardinals All-Star Lee Smith has been elected to the MLB Hall of Fame.

Lee Arthur Smith was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1975 draft. He pitched for the Cubs from 1980-1987 compiling a total of 180 saves, with a cumulative 2.92 ERA during his time there. Smith also earned All-Star appearances in 1983 & 1987 while in Chicago. He went 40-51 as a Cub with 644 K’s.

Traded to Boston, Smith spent 2 1/2 seasons (1988-1990) and had a 3.04 ERA with 58 saves for the Red Sox, and was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in May of ‘90 for outfielder Tom Brunansky.

For the St. Louis Cardinals, “Big Lee”, played from 1990-1993. He set the single-season record for saves in ‘91 with 47, and came close to breaking it again in ‘92 with 43. He also earned 43 more of them during the 1993 season before being traded to the New York Yankees. His stats while in a Cardinals uniform was a 15-21 W/L record, a 2.90 ERA, 246 K and 160 saves. He was a Cardinal All-Star in ‘91,’92 & ‘93 and at the time of his trade, held St. Louis’ franchise record for career saves. A record that was later passed by Jason Isringhausen.

Smith bounced around from that time on, playing one season for the New York Yankees & Baltimore Orioles, two seasons for the California Angels, followed by one year stints with the Cincinnati Reds and Montreal Expos.

For a career, Lee Smith was a 7 x All-Star, a 3 x recipient of the Rolaids Relief Man Award & 4 x Saves leader.

In 1,022 games played, he had a record of 71-92, a 3.03 ERA, 1,251 strikeouts and 478 saves.

Lee Smith can now add one more thing to the list, and that is the MLB Hall of Fame.

Congrats, big man! It is well deserved.

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