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Lee Smith (baseball)

Lee Smith (baseball)
Smith with the Chicago Cubs in 1985.
MLB Player information
NameLee Smith
MLB debutSeptember 1, 1980 for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearanceJuly 2, 1997 for the Montreal Expos
Career statistics
Games pitched1022
Win loss record71 92
Earned run average3.03
* Chicago Cubs (1980 1987) * Boston Red Sox (1988 1990) * St. Louis Cardinals (1990 1993) * New York Yankees (1993) * Baltimore Orioles (1994) * California Angels (1995 1996) * Cincinnati Reds (1996) * Montreal Expos (1997)

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Lee Arthur Smith (born December 4, 1957) is an American right-handed former baseball pitcher who played 18 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for eight teams. Pitching primarily for the Chicago Cubs, with whom he spent his first eight seasons, Lee served mostly as a relief pitcher during his career. One of the dominant closers in baseball history, Smith held the major league record for career saves from 1993 until 2006, when San Diego Padres relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman passed his final total of 478.

A native of Jamestown in Bienville Parish in north Louisiana, Smith was scouted by Buck O'Neil and drafted by the Cubs in the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft. Smith was an intimidating figure on the pitcher's mound at 6 feet, 6 inches (1.98 m) and 265 pounds (120 kg) with a 95 mile per hour (150 km/h) fastball. In 1991, Smith set a National League (NL) record with 47 saves for the St. Louis Cardinals, and was runner-up for the league's Cy Young Award; it was the second of three times he led the NL in saves, and he later led the American League (AL) once while with the Baltimore Orioles in 1994. He also set the major league career record for games finished (802), and his 1,022 career games pitched were the third-most in history when he retired; he still holds the team records for career saves for the Cubs (180), and he also held the Cardinals record (160) until 2006.

Smith has been a candidate for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame five times since 2003, but has generally received 37-45% of the necessary votes on all total ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America, with 75% needed for election. After the end of his major league career, Smith spent time working as a pitching instructor at the minor-league level with the San Francisco Giants. He then served as the pitching coach for the South Africa national baseball team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and 2009 World Baseball Classic. Lee currently continues his job as a minor-league roving pitching instructor for the Giants.

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