Category Archives: Lee Smith Collection

Happy Birthday Lee Smith!!!

Happy Birthday Lee Smith!!!

Lee Smith turns 56 years old today.

I am a big fan of Lee Smith’s - he is one of my favorite relief pitchers of all-time.

With 478 career saves, good for 3rd place in major league history, I consider Smith to still be a very underrated and underappreciated player.  And with so many records being broken by today’s group of relievers, I have to wonder how Smith would do if he was playing in today’s game.

During his 18-year career, Smith tallied at least 30 saves 11 times and 40 or more saves 4 times.  A closer like that would be an All-star in today’s game and he’d be earning a minimum of $10 million per year.  In contrast, Smith was an All-star just 7 times and the most he made in any one season was $2.8 million.

Happy Birthday Mr. Smith!!!   You are still valued and appreciated by this baseball fan!!!

Happy Birthday Lee Smith!!!

Happy Birthday Lee Smith!!!

Lee Smith turns 55 years old today.

I am a big fan of Lee Smith’s - he is one of my favorite relief pitchers of all-time.

With 478 career saves, good for 3rd place in major league history, I consider Smith to still be a very underrated and underappreciated player.  And with so many records being broken by today’s group of relievers, I have to wonder how Smith would do if he was playing in today’s game.

During his 18-year career, Smith tallied at least 30 saves 11 times and 40 or more saves 4 times.  A closer like that would be an All-star in today’s game and he’d be earning a minimum of $10 million per year.  In contrast, Smith was an All-star just 7 times and the most he made in any one season was $2.8 million.

Happy Birthday Mr. Smith!!!   You are still valued and appreciated by this baseball fan!!!

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #1 – 1983 Topps

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #1 – 1983 Topps

Now that my Lee Smith collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #1 – 1983 Topps

Finally, I can reveal my favorite card from my Lee Smith PC.

And it should be no surprise that the card is from the 1983 Topps baseball card set.  After all, the 1983 set has been celebrated on this blog multiple times as being one of the greatest releases during my time collecting.

As for the card, it does what the 1983 Topps set is famous for – two great pictures (1 action, 1 posed).  And the action photo is G-R-E-A-T!!!  I love that the stands behind Smith are full – hopefully he was closing out a win for the Cubbies in this one.

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #2 – 1984 Topps

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #2 – 1984 Topps

Now that my Lee Smith collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #2 – 1984 Topps

It’s not hard to see why this card made nearly to the top of my list.

Have a peek:

I’ve always been a big fan of the 1984 Topps baseball card design.  On a side note, I was very excited to see that one make it into the 2012 Archives set.

The photo is great; the cameo is sweet, and I like seeing a young and fit Lee Smith dominate teams late in games!

Thank You Topps!!!

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #3 – 1986 Topps Cubs Team Leaders

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #3 – 1986 Topps Cubs Team Leaders

Now that my Lee Smith collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #3 – 1986 Topps Cubs Team Leaders

There is something about the team leader cards from the 1986 Topps baseball set that I have always liked…

Maybe it is the departure from the mug-shot-esque team leader cards that peppered the 1983 and 1984 Topps sets.

Or maybe it is the cloud-like design that just makes me smile…

You be the judge:

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #4 – 1988 Topps

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #4 – 1988 Topps

Now that my Lee Smith collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #4 – 1988 Topps

If I had to guess, my guess is that Lee Smith was doing drills while this photo was snapped.

In fact, I think I know the exact drill – it is where the pitcher is going into motions of his pitch, and then fielding a chopper or bunt and firing to a respective base.

I’ve seen the drill performed hundreds of times.  Hell, I have done it.  And this is exactly what the pitcher looks like when he is going through the motion of the pitching part of the exercise…

Have a look:

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #5 – 1986 Fleer

Lee Smith ‘Fab Five’ – Card #5 – 1986 Fleer

Now that my Lee Smith collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #5 – 1986 Fleer

The 1986 Fleer baseball card design offers up one of the more bland designs of the decade.

But, the border color works well with the Chicago Cubs team colors, and especially well with this card of Lee Smith.

I also really like cards that feature the Ivy wall of Wrigley Field, and it is very prominent on this card.

My Lee Smith Player Collection Is C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E!!!!!

My Lee Smith Player Collection Is C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E!!!!!

Yessir, another player collection has been completed – I am on a roll!!!

This time around, it is my Lee Smith collection that has been completed.

The goal of this PC was to get all of the major release cards issued of Lee Smith in a Chicago Cubs uniform.  And now, 23 cards later, the collection is finished.

Yes, it is smaller than many of the other PC’s that I have put together.   But, I find it to be a very fitting and fulfilling way to honor the career of Mr. Smith.

Here is a look at the full set:

And even though it is small, I will stick to my normal processes and unveil my ‘Fab Five’ for you all next week.

See you on Monday!!!

Thanks for reading.

 

Lee Smith 1983 Topps

Lee Smith 1983 Topps

1983 was Smith’s fourth season in the major leagues, but his 1983 Topps baseball card is classified as his second-year card.

By the time the 1983 baseball season rolled around, Smith had solidified his role as a bullpen specialist for the Chicago Cubs.  In the prior season, he appeared in 72 games as a reliever.  In ’83, he would appear in 66.

And in those 66 appearances, Smith was solid!!

He compiled a 1.65 ERA in 103 innings of work.  He finished the campaign with a 4-10 record, but led the league in saves with 29.  Smith struck out 91 batters in 1983, and averaged 7.7 strikeouts per 9 innings of work.

Lee Smith made his first All-Star team in 1983, and became a contender for the Cy Young award as well.

Lee Smith 1986 Donruss – FAIL!!!

Lee Smith 1986 Donruss

I really don’t care for the 1986 Donruss baseball card design – probably one of my least favorite of the decade.

Couple that with a poorly cropped photo, and I classify this baseball card as a ‘FAIL’!!!!

Sorry Mr. Smith, it is not your fault.  Not at all…