#Shortstops: Shoes of a wizard

Written by: Aubrey Quinn

The 1982 World Series was a battle between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals ended up winning the seven-game series 4-3. Both teams were stacked with future Hall of Famers such as Bruce Sutter, Ted Simmons, Jim Kaat, Don Sutton and many others including “The Wizard” himself, Ozzie Smith.

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Osborne Earl Smith started his major league career with the San Diego Padres in 1978 and was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals prior to the 1982 season, the same year the Cardinals went on to play the Milwaukee Brewers in the World Series. Ozzie was a superstar on the field and has been recognized as one of the best defensive shortstops of all time. Coming into the 1982 season, 27-year-old Ozzie had already won two Gold Glove Awards and had made an appearance in the 1981 All-Star Game.

Leading up to the World Series that year, the Cardinals had beaten the Braves in the National League Championship, and the Brewers had defeated the Angels in the American League championship. The two teams, meeting for the first time in this World Series, found a rivalry in the fact that they were both affiliated with competing brewing companies. For this reason, the series earned the nickname “The Suds Series.”

During the seven-game series, the Wizard played a crucial role in helping the Cardinals win, showing off his skills at shortstop in Game 4. Jim Ganter hit the ball toward center field and while stepping on second base, Ozzie was able to field the ball, regain his balance and throw the ball to first for a spectacular double play.

In Game 7, during the bottom of the sixth inning, Smith singled and eventually scored after a double from Lonnie Smith and an RBI single from Keith Hernandez. Each of these hits proved key as the Cardinals took home the win.

Smith's Mizuno rubber cleats with red leather, worn during that World Series, are now a part of the Museum’s collection. The shoes are size 9 and have a message written on the back reading: "To Harley / Good Luck / Ozzie Smith / 12-20-84" handwritten in black ink. Ozzie gave the signed cleats to his friend Mike Duffy and Duffy gave them to his nephew, Harley Duffy, as a Christmas gift in 1983. Harley later donated the shoes to the Hall of Fame in 2001.

Ozzie Smith played the rest of his career with the Cardinals and retired after the 1996 season. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Aubrey Quinn is the 2023 special events intern in the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Leadership Development

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