#1 Ozzie Smith - "The Wizard" - 9" x 12" acrylic on paper. Was there any doubt. Ozzie was an acrobat at shortstop and one of my all-time favorites. 1978 was near the beginning of TBS and every Atlanta Braves game was on TV. And if a game was on - we watched it. That was Smith's rookie season with the Padres and they hosted the Braves 10 games into the season. Jeff Boroughs came to the plate in the 4th and hit a ground ball up the middle, Ozzie went to his left and made what I think is the greatest infield play in baseball history. As Smith dives to make the stop - the ball takes a bad hop - and in mid-air Ozzie reaches back with his bare hand - snags it, gets to his feet and throws out Jeff Burroughs. It was and is the most unbelievable thing I have ever seen on a baseball field. Other number ones of note - Richie Ashburn, Pee Wee Reese (one of my Dad's favs) and Garry Templeton (who the Cards traded for Ozzie). Atlanta players who wore #1 - Otis Nixon (who made a great catch of his own) and who could forget, Oddibe "young again" McDowell.
Well there you have it. 30 of my favorite players of all-time by the numbers. Stay tuned for how you can purchase one of these original. I hope you enjoyed it - I had a good time. I'll share more of the process soon, give you my thoughts on this series, what I learned, and what is next.
Thanks to everyone for all the likes, kind comments, and interaction.
We are at the end of the series and that means Cards and Cubs kick off the 2015 season tomorrow. Play Ball!