Chicago Cubs History: Longtime Cubs who turned into Cardinals

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
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Lee Smith / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by St. Louis Cardinals, LLC/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: After being traded away in 1987, Lee Smith returns to Wrigley

Hall of Fame reliever Lee Smith is the all-time Cubs save leader. In his eight seasons on the North Side, Smith recorded 180 saves and pitched to a 2.92 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 1.3 WHIP and struck out 644 batters in 458 games. He made two All-Star teams and was part of the 1984 NL East champion team that came just a win short of the World Series against the San Diego Padres. After the 1987 season, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox.

On May 4, 1990 the righty was traded from Boston to the Cardinals. On June 23 of that year, he returned to Wrigley Field in Cardinals red. Smith recorded his 11th save of the season, pitching two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth as the Cardinals won 8-7.

Smith stuck around for several more years in St. Louis (May, 1990 through August, 1993). He recorded a career-high 47 saves in 1991, followed by 43 in 1992. Smith never reached the 40-save marker with the Cubs. Overall in St. Louis he pitched to a 2.90 ERA, 2.89 FIP, 1.2 WHIP, 246 strikeouts and 160 saves in 245 games. He made three consecutive All Star games from 1991-1993. It is worth noting that the Cardinals did not make the postseason while Smith was a member of the organization.

Following the Cardinals, he pitched for the Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Reds and Expos.