October 18, 1996 in Sports

Last Chapter Written In Storybook Career

From Wire Reports
 

It was a quiet exit for Ozzie Smith.

In the final appearance of a 19-year career that undoubtedly will land him in the Hall of Fame, the St. Louis Cardinals’ 41-year-old shortstop fouled out as a pinch hitter in the Atlanta Braves’ National League pennant-clinching 15-0 victory Thursday night.

Smith hinted in September that he might change his mind about retiring, but after the game he said he was at peace with his decision.

“Tomorrow I’m going to wake up and turn the page, and my life goes on,” Smith said. “It’s been a great career and I have a lot of great moments to look back on, and I’m going to try and enjoy life a little bit now.”

Smith tipped his helmet after getting a standing ovation before having an at-bat typical of the Cardinals’ series swoon. He was appreciative, if somewhat blase, remembering his appearance during a farewell tour the second half of the season.

“They showed me the first time what they felt about me,” Smith said. “Everywhere I’ve gone the reception has been there, so it was really no different.”

Blauser OK

Braves shortstop Jeff Blauser left the game in the second inning after he was hit on the left leg below the knee by a pitch from St. Louis starter Donovan Osborne in the first inning.

The injury isn’t serious and Blauser will be available when the Braves open the World Series on Saturday night in New York.

He said it

Before Thursday night’s game, St. Louis manager Tony La Russa on the matchup between Osborne and Atlanta’s Tom Glavine: “They’re starting a good pitcher, but we’re starting a good one, too. People just don’t know it.”

They didn’t get much of a chance to find out as Osborne lasted two-thirds of an inning.

Catching MVPs

Javy Lopez became only the second catcher to win the MVP award in the N.L. championship series.

Darrell Porter of St. Louis won it in 1982. Ironically, he starred in the Cardinals’ three-game sweep of the Braves. In the Braves’ seven-game victory over St. Louis, Lopez hit .542 with two homers and five doubles. He scored eight runs and had six RBIs.

Series business

Atlanta and New York have never met in the World Series, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of history between the Braves and Yankees.

The teams met in seven-game World Series in 1957 and ‘58 when the Braves were still in Milwaukee.

The Braves captured Milwaukee’s only World Series title in 1957 but New York bounced back the following year, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to win the series.

Braves 15, Cardinals 0

St. Louis Atlanta ab r h bi ab r h bi Clayton ss 4 0 1 0 Grssom cf 6 1 2 0 McGee rf 3 0 1 0 Lemke 2b 4 1 2 0 Sweney lf 0 0 0 0 Mrdcai 2b 1 0 0 0 Gant lf 3 0 0 0 CpJnes 3b 4 2 2 0 Shaffer c 0 0 0 0 EdPrez 1b 0 0 0 0 BJrdn cf 3 0 0 0 McGrff 1b 5 4 3 4 Mejia cf 0 0 0 0 Belecki p 0 0 0 0 Gaetti 3b 3 0 0 0 Avery p 0 0 0 0 DYung 1b 3 0 0 0 JLopez c 4 3 2 3 Pgnozzi c 2 0 1 0 Dye rf 5 1 1 1 Mabry rf 1 0 0 0 AJones lf 4 2 2 3 Gallego 2b 3 0 1 0 Blauser ss 0 1 0 0 Osbrne p 0 0 0 0 Blliard ss 4 0 2 0 AnBns p 1 0 0 0 Glavine p 4 0 1 3 OSmith ph 1 0 0 0 Pndlton 3b 1 0 0 0 Ptkvsk p 0 0 0 0 Hnyctt p 0 0 0 0 Fossas p 0 0 0 0 Alicea ph 1 0 0 0 Totals 28 0 4 0 Totals 42 15 17 14 St. Louis 000 000 000 - 0 Atlanta 600 403 20x - 15 E-Clayton (2), McGee (1). DP-Atlanta 2. LOBSt. Louis 1, Atlanta 8. 2B-Lemke (2), JLopez (5). 3B-McGriff (1), Glavine (1). HR-McGriff (2), JLopez (2), AJones (1). CS-Clayton (1).

St. Louis IP H R ER BB SO Osborne L,1-1 2/3 5 6 6 1 0 AnBenes 4-1/3 5 4 4 2 2 Petkovsek 2/3 5 3 3 0 1 Honeycutt 1-1/3 2 2 2 1 1 Fossas 1 0 0 0 0 0 Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO Glavine W,1-1 7 3 0 0 0 4 Bielecki 1 0 0 0 0 2 Avery 1 1 0 0 0 0 HBPby Osborne (Blauser).

T-2:25. A-52,067 (52,710).


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