Thursday, January 19, 2012

#579 Dick Smith

#579 Dick Smith
Another card that I bought off of Ed for low, low prices. Here's an uncomfortable question: if a locksmith is a lock maker and a blacksmith makes tools and other items from iron and steel, what is a Dick Smith? Forget I asked.

Fun facts about Dick Smith:

-Dick was born in Lebanon, OR and signed with the Dodgers out of high school in 1957.

-He spent six years in the minors with the Dodgers, establishing himself as a .250-ish hitter with some pop, before the Mets purchased his contract in October 1962.

-Made his big league debut as a pinch hitter on July 20, 1963, fouling out to first base against Dallas Green of the Phillies.

-Appeared in 20 games as a rookie for New York, batting .238 with a triple and 3 RBI.

-Dick spent the first half of the 1964 season with the Mets, carrying just a .223 average with no home runs and 3 RBI in 97 trips to the plate.

-He had a memorable game vs. the Cubs on May 26, 1964, batting leadoff and igniting the Met offense in a 19-1 rout: 5-for-6 with a double, a triple, a stolen base, three runs scored and two driven in.

-The Dodgers reacquired Smith in October 1964 for pitcher Larry Miller. He played 10 games for L.A. in 1965, going hitless in 6 at-bats. It was his last stint in the majors, but he kept playing in the minors through the 1968 season.

-In parts of 3 big league seasons, Dick batted .218 with no home runs and 7 RBI. He finished his 12-year minor league career with a .265 average and 120 homers.
#579 Dick Smith (back)


  1. Never heard of him. This is why I like these blogs.

  2. I find sort of interesting the fact that the card says he was sent to the minors in May 1965. When did these cards come out; I always assumed they came out before the season so I find this update surprising.

    I find players like him fascinating. He wasn't much of a player on the big league level but he did play in the big leagues. He presumably got a real job after his minor league career ended. His baseball days must have seemed like another lifetime.

  3. Marc, prior to 1974 Topps released their cards in 7 series (about 1 per month). Since this is card #579, it was probably in the last series, so was printed in late spring/early summer.

    There are usually about a dozen cards per year with a traded/sent down sentence tacked on to the end of the narrative on back.

  4. The cartoon doesn't match the caption! What does running around have to do with pitching in the minors?

  5. My business card says "Dick Smith" - it really confuses people.

  6. It is also interesting to be suited up in his Dodger uniform, ready for his 6 at-bats in 1965...while standing in Shea Stadium, home of the team that traded him. Both affiliations on one card.