Chicago Cubs: Former players hopeful for shot at HOF

5 of 5
Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

As a budding Cubs fan in the early 80’s, I learned to count on three things. First, you will get beer spilled on you sitting in the Wrigley bleachers. Second, Ryne Sandberg will win the Gold Glove. Third, Lee Smith will close out the win.

Lee Smith closed out wins for several ball clubs during his 18-year career. In fact, he ranks third on the all-time saves list. Only future HOFers Mariano Rivera (who will be eligible for election in 2017) and Trevor Hoffman rank ahead of him. The relievers who are currently in the Hall (including former teammate Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and Rich Gossage) all trail Smith in career saves. And yet Smith awaits his call to Cooperstown.

2017 will be Lee Smith’s last year of eligibility. So let’s begin the campaign buzz now. Here are the compelling reasons to elect Lee Smith to Hall of Fame:

  • Third on the All-Time saves list.
  • Seven-time All-Star, showing that he ranked highly amidst his peers.
  • Four-time league leader in saves.
  • Consistently posted double-digit figures in Runs Above Average (RAA), meaning he saved his team quite a few runs in relation to possible replacements.
  • And, here’s the sticker, his stats are comparable to other HOF relievers.

So let’s get this done, BWAA. It’s time to elect Lee Arthur Smith.