AKA: The Wizard
Claim to Fame: Ozzie back-flipped his way into St. Louisans’ hearts during 14 seasons as shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. His 1992, first-ballot election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame was the pinnacle of an award-filled career. He won 13-straight Gold Gloves, was a 15-time All Star , received the National League Silver Slugger Award for the best-hitting shortstop in1987 and was voted MVP of the 1985 National League playoffs — famous for his game-winning, “Go Crazy, Folks” home run. The Wizard played on the 1982 World Champion Redbirds team, was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and his #1 jersey was retired by the team. The Sporting News ranked Ozzie among their roster of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players.
Neighborhood: Lives in St. Louis County
Passion: Ozzie Smith is known as The Wizard because of the wonderful things he does. He serves as education ambassador for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and is president of the St. Louis chapter of the PGA REACH initiative which provides programming and resources for in-need middle and high school-aged kids to succeed in academics and life skills. Watch Ozzie’s famous backflip and hear him talk about his role with PGA REACH at http://www.gatewaypga.org/foundation.
More: Art imitated life when Ozzie was cast as The Wizard in the St. Louis Muny Opera’s production of The Wizard of Oz. The baseball star took to The Muny stage twice more: with a cameo role in Damn Yankees and displayed he song-and-dance skills in a musical revue titled The Muny Goes British. Singing talent runs in the family. Ozzie’s son Nikko was a Top Ten finalist in the fourth season of American Idol.