Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith returned to Spring Training with the St. Louis Cardinals today. Only this time, he returned as an instructor.
For the past three years, the former 13-time Gold Glove winning shortstop has visited the Cardinals to pass along his wisdom to a younger generation of players.
“That’s why we’re here — to be able to share with the young players and answer whatever questions they might have,” said Smith. “It’s my life and I spent most of my life doing this. To have the chance to come back and visit with the guys and enjoy the weather, being able to get away from that cold, is great. And it actually gives me a chance to exercise some muscles that I haven’t exercised in a while.”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Smith is a great ambassador for the Cardinals, but he is not there just for show.
“None of these guys have interest in coming just to be here and being a hood ornament for everyone to look at. We have work we have to do and things we have to accomplish to get better and what a resource having an Ozzie Smith around.”