01/04/05 3:20 PM ET
Smith's Hall support stagnates
All-time saves leader finishes eighth in voting
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
| 2005 Hall of Fame
The complete vote (516 ballots, 387 to gain election, 26 to remain on ballot):
Wade, Ryno are Hall choices
No doubts about Class of 2005
Boggs hits his way to the Hall
Ryno charges into Hall of Fame
Red Sox lavish praise on Boggs
Rays react to Boggs Hall call
From Beantown to Bronx to Hall
Sutter closing in on Hall of Fame
Boggs is fans' favorite to make Hall
Smith received exactly 200 votes out of a possible 516, good for the eighth-highest total among eligible candidates. His percentage is a bounce back from his 36.6 percent showing in 2004, but still below his first- year mark of 42.3 percent from 2003. Only three relief pitchers are currently in the Hall of Fame: Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers and Dennis Eckersley, the latter of whom was inducted in 2004.
Smith's case for enshrinement is based on sustained quality rather than a dominant peak. In addition to the saves record (he tallied 478), he ranks fifth on the all-time games pitched list. He tallied at least 25 saves in 13 different seasons and won three Rolaids Relief Awards, though he never won a Cy Young award.
Smith pitched for the Cubs from his 1980 debut through 1987. He made a stop in Boston, and then was sent to St. Louis. The big right-hander thrived as a Cardinal, enjoying one of his best seasons in 1991. That year, the imposing flame-thrower racked up 47 saves and posted a sparkling 2.34 ERA. He finished as the runner-up to Tom Glavine in National League Cy Young balloting.
Smith tallied 133 saves with the Cardinals before a 1993 trade sent him to the Yankees, and he also had brief stints with Baltimore, the Angels and the Expos. He retired in 1997.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.