Saturday, April 15, 2017

#179 Frank Smith

#179 Frank Smith
Progress: 1st of this card
223 of 407  54.8% complete
How acquired: $5.50 on eBay
Condition: Good
The back of this card doesn't show it, but Frank Smith was coming off a 1951 season in which he had 11 saves, which was good for 2nd in the NL, trailing only Al Brazle's 16.  Last year (2016) 11 saves wouldn't have cracked the Top 10 in the NL, and was 40 behind the League Leader Jeurys Familia who had 51.  Bullpen guys today, at least the good ones, are celebrated like rock stars (even some of the mediocre ones).  Some of them celebrate their own pedestrian accomplishments with a flair and gusto that would deservedly get them a fast ball high and tight if they ever actually had to go to bat themselves (something today's "half-players" on the mound rarely do).  I doubt Smith was ever much for theatrics on the mound.  I've inferred, perhaps incorrectly, that there was a stigma to the bullpen back in Smith's era.  It was for guys not good enough to start, and who were only called on if the starter failed in his duty to his team to toss a complete game.  Maybe I'm way off, and I don't agree with that sentiment, but it's the impression I've picked up.  In any event, maybe I'm no fun, but I'd like to see the Fernando Rodney's of the world tone it down.  Great, you got three outs, and didn't blow a three run lead in the 9th.  Someone else got 24 other outs, and the batters built that lead.  Stop strutting around and shooting make believe arrows and show some humility.  Not screwing up the entire game during the your brief cameo appearance is literally the least you could do.  If it's out three in game 7 in early November, live it up, by all means.  But if it's a Thursday getaway game in June, maybe think about why you're not a starter instead of fist pumping like you're Mike Eruzione in Lake Placid after getting the number eight hitter on a last place team to fly out to the warning track.

Stats: 7 seasons, 35 wins, 33 loses, 3.81 ERA, 44 saves

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A


  1. Wooooo! Frank Smith! My buddy!

  2. FWIW I agree with you on closers (and some other players/sports as well).