Ozzie Smith Honored as Missouri Sports Legend
SPRINGFIELD - The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame welcomed its 21st legend Wednesday and hundreds of St. Louis Cardinals fans flocked to the hall to welcome Ozzie Smith onto the walk of fame.
Former Cardinals skipper Whitey Herzog was on hand to introduce Smith who joined the Cards in 1982 and helped the team win a world championship. The Cards won two additional National League pennants with him as well.
Nicknamed the Wizard for his defensive skills, Ozzie Smith played 19 seasons in the big leagues, he won 13 gold gloves and played on 15 all-star teams.
Ozzie Smith was inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame and Wednesday named a Missouri sports legend. He joins other Cardinals like Herzog, Musial and Buck with this home state honor.
"It's home," says Smith. "It's always nice to be admired and honored for your accomplishments in the place. Because it's about taking the accolades and things that you get in your sport. And being able to translate that into your community and your home."
"I don't see how anybody in the history of baseball could play that position any better than he played it," says Whitey Herzog. "I've never seen anything like it. When I got him I knew he was good. I knew he was an excellent defensive player. He made himself a good offensive player."