All-Time MLB Players From Louisiana: Reggie Smith
There have been a number of individuals from Lafayette, and the Acadiana area, that have played in Major League Baseball over the years.
Obviously, the entire state of Louisiana has produced even more.
As a matter of fact, 246 people born in the state of Louisiana have appeared in a Major League Baseball game, beginning in 1874, with John Peters of New Orleans, who played 11 years, with the likes of the Chicago White Stockings, Milwaukee Grays, Providence Grays, Buffalo Bisons, and Pittsburgh Alleghenys.
All summer, we’ll preview a player from the state of Louisiana that appeared in Major League baseball, starting with players from Lafayette, before spotlighting players from the Acadiana area, and then a few from the state itself.
Yesterday, we spotlighted Mike DeJean.
Today, we feature Reggie Smith.
Born in Shreveport in 1945, Smith, a switch-hitting outfielder, played parts of 17 seasons in Major League Baseball, with the Boston Red Sox (1966-1973), St. Louis Cardinals (1974-1976), Los Angeles Dodgers (1976-1981), and the San Francisco Giants (1982).
The 6-foot, 180-pound Smith made his Major League debut on September 18, 1966, at the age of 21, against the California Angels.
Smith went on to appear in 6 games for the Red Sox in 1966, getting 4 hits in 26 at-bats.
In 1967, Smith's true rookie campaign, he hit a .246, to go along with 15 homes runs, 61 runs batted in, and 16 stolen bases, while finishing second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.
Smith had his breakout season, two years later, when he hit a .30 with 25 homers and 93 RBI's, while being named to the All-Star team for the first of six times in his outstanding career.
In his last 17 seasons, Smith belted at least 15 home runs 14 times, 20 or more homers 8 times, and 30 or more homers twice, including a career high 32 in 1977.
Smith also drove in 90 or more runs in four different seasons, including a career high 100 in 1974.
1977 was arguably Smith's best season, when he hit a .307, to go along with a .427 on-base percentage, while hitting 32 home runs and driving in 87 runs.
In parts of 17 seasons in Major League Baseball, Smith hit a .287, to go along with 314 homers, 1,092 RBI's, and 137 stolen bases.