Saturday, March 20, 2010

1991 Leaf Lonnie Smith

Who is this? Lonnie Smith, a former major league outfielder

What is this? An autographed card from the 1991 Leaf set

Where'd I get it? I wrote to Smith earlier this month and asked him to it

How much did it cost? Just postage, really. The card came out of a cheap wax box I bought a few years ago.

Why is this so special? I wrote about Smith's early career yesterday, when I showed you the 1982 Fleer card Smith signed. After wearing out his welcome in Kansas City, Smith signed a contract with the Atlanta Braves for the 1988 season.

Smith continued to struggle in his first year in Atlanta, but he rebounded in 1989 to win the National League Comeback Player of the Year award. He hit .315 with 21 home runs and 79 RBI and led the National League with a .415 on base percentage. Smith continued to be a starter for the Braves in 1990 and 1991, when they began their string of playoff appearances.

Smith settled back into a part-time role in his final year in Atlanta in 1992. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1993 and finished his career with Baltimore in 1994.

The 1991 Leaf set isn't one of the most exciting designs of the 90s, but this card looks great signed.

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