Friday, July 4, 2008
#520 Dave Smith
Why this card is awesome: Because of some odd airbrushing. Look at the black line at the left edge of Smith's lower body. It looks like they sort of darkened and blurred the background behind him. Too bad--that might be Ken Caminiti that they blurred out.
Cool stat: Smith is one of the forgotten closers, a very steady pitcher in the 1980s who got sort of rubbed out by Dennis Eckersley and the modern closers who followed. He had the 7th-most saves in the 1980s despite not being a full-time closer for the first 5 years of the decade. And among relievers with at least 700 IP in the 1980s, he had the 4th-best WHIP, the fewest HR/IP (thank you Astrodome) and the 3rd-best ERA+. He was a very good pitcher indeed, even though he was certainly helped by the Astrodome. (Although, geez, his home/road splits for his career were essentially identical.