Carl Reginald Smith (born April 2, 1945) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder, coach and front office executive. During a 17-year big league career (1966–1982), Smith appeared in 1,987 games, hit 314 home runs and batted .287. He was a switch-hitter who threw right-handed. In his prime, he had one of the strongest throwing arms of any outfielder in the big leagues. Smith played at least 70 games in 13 different seasons, and in every one of those 13 seasons, his team had a winning record.
Smith grew up in Los Angeles, California. He won the International League batting title in 1966 with a .320 average while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was called up to the major leagues late in that season and played for the Boston Red Sox (1966-73), St. Louis Cardinals (1974–76), Los Angeles Dodgers (1976–81) and San Francisco Giants (1982). Smith appeared in four World Series, including during his rookie 1967 season for the Red Sox, and three (1977, 1978 and 1981) for the Dodgers. He hit three home runs in the 1977 series.
In the 1978 season, Dodger pitcher Don Sutton went public with comments that Smith was a more valuable player to the Dodgers than the more-celebrated Steve Garvey. This led to an infamous clubhouse wrestling match between Sutton and Garvey.
In the 1981 season as a member of the Dodgers, Smith was taunted by Giants fan Michael Dooley, who then threw a batting helmet at him. Smith then jumped into the stands at Candlestick Park and started punching him. He was ejected from the game, and Dooley was arrested. Five months later, Smith joined the Giants as a free agent. He spent one season in San Francisco, then moved on to Japan with the Yomiuri Giants for two seasons before retiring in 1984.
After his playing career ended, Smith rejoined the Dodgers, where he served as a coach under Tommy Lasorda, a minor league instructor and a player development official.
Smith became involved with USA Baseball in 1999 as hitting coach on the 1999 Professional Team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada (Silver, Olympic qualifiers). He also served as hitting coach for the 2007 IBAF Baseball World Cup in Taiwan (Gold). Smith also served as hitting coach for Team USA during the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and served as hitting coach for the Bronze medal winning USA Baseball Olympic team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Famous quotes containing the words smith and/or reggie:
“What a pity it is that we have no amusements in England but vice and religion!”
—Sydney Smith (17711845)
“TV has changed!”
—Roger Spottiswoode, U.S. screenwriter, Walter Hill, and Larry Gross. Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy)