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Ozzie Smith is known in baseball as “The Wizard” and the best defensive shortstop of all time. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Ozzie won a record 13 Gold Glove Awards at shortstop. He retired from baseball in 1996 after playing 19 years in the major leagues, the first four years with the San Diego Padres and the final fifteen with the St. Louis Cardinals. His nickname describes the way he played shortstop–he performed magic with his glove and performed in the infield with amazing acrobatic agility.
Ozzie Smith’s charitable endeavors almost always benefit children, and he has spent countless hours assisting various charities such as Multiple Sclerosis, The Variety Club, Ronald McDonald House, Annie Malone Children’s Home, The Boys Club of St. Louis, and Kids in the Middle.
Since his retirement from baseball, Ozzie succeeded Mel Allen as host of This Week in Baseball, was the color analyst for Cardinal broadcasts in 1997-1999, and served as the baseball analyst for CNNSI – a joint venture between CNN and Sports Illustrated – from 1999 to 2002. He also has a restaurant in St. Louis, Ozzie’s Restaurant and Sports Bar at Westport Plaza.
Currently, Ozzie Smith serves as the Education Ambassador to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a position created expressly for him. He also has corporate affiliations with John Hancock, Street & Smith publications, Keefe Group, Kraft, Nabisco, and Radio Shack.
In 1998, 1999 and 2001 Ozzie was cast in three theatrical productions at The Municipal Theatre in St. Louis. He had a cameo role in Damn Yankees in 1998, and in 1999 he sang and tap danced in The Muny Goes British, a musical revue based on songs from various Broadway musicals. In 2001 he starred as The Wizard in The Muny’s production of The Wizard of Oz.
In 2005, the CD, Oh Say Can You Sing was released featuring Ozzie singing the Sam Cooke song, Cupid. The CD includes 10 other major league baseball players singing their own versions of popular songs. Proceeds from this project go to the players’ designated charities.
Ozzie Smith has three children and makes St. Louis his home because he feels a deep responsibility to give back to the community that has so enriched his life.
A CONVERSATION WITH OZZIE SMITH
Ozzie begins this light-hearted, anecdotal presentation with stories from his childhood as a little leaguer to the present day. 20 to 30 minute speech followed by questions and answers with the audience.
HALL OF FAME SPEECH
Based on Ozzie's acclaimed Hall of Fame induction speech, this motivational and inspirational presentation focuses on perseverance and the road to success. 30 to 40 minute speech followed by questions and answers with the audience.
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