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 San Diego Padres

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wangrong



Posts : 189
Registration date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: San Diego Padres   Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:36 am

Smith was playing semi-professional baseball in Clarinda, Iowa, in June 1976 when he was selected in the seventh round of the amateur entry draft by the Detroit Tigers.[14][15] The parties could not agree on a contract; Smith wanted a $10,000 ($38,217 in current dollar terms) signing bonus, while the Tigers offered $8,500 ($32,484 in current dollar terms).[14] Smith returned to Cal Poly for his senior year, then in the 1977 draft was selected in the fourth round by the San Diego Padres, ultimately agreeing to a contract that included a $5,000 signing bonus ($17,950 in current dollar terms).[14] Smith spent his first year of professional baseball, 1977, with the Class A Walla Walla Padres of the Northwest League.[16]
Smith began 1978 as a non-roster invitee to the San Diego Padres' spring training camp in Yuma, Arizona. Smith credited Padres manager Alvin Dark for giving him confidence by telling reporters the shortstop job was Smith's until he proved he can't handle it.[17] Even though Dark was fired in the middle of training camp, Smith made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut on April 7, 1978.[18][19]
"As I was in the air, the ball took a bad hop and caromed behind me, but I was able to catch it with my bare hand. I hit the ground, bounced back up, and threw Burroughs out at first."
—Ozzie Smith describes a fielding play he made in 1978[20]
It did not take long for Smith to earn recognition in the major leagues, making what some consider his greatest fielding play only ten games into his rookie season.[5][21] The Padres played host to the Atlanta Braves on April 20, 1978, and with two out in the top of the fourth inning, Atlanta's Jeff Burroughs hit a ground ball up the middle.[22] Smith described the play by saying, "He hit a ball back up the middle that everybody thought was going into center field. I instinctively broke to my left and dove behind second. As I was in the air, the ball took a bad hop and caromed behind me, but I was able to catch it with my bare hand. I hit the ground, bounced back up, and threw Burroughs out at first.[20]



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