Longtime reliever Lee Smith is heading to Cooperstown. The former Cardinals closer was elected yesterday to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Today’s Game Era Committee. His 478 saves in 18 seasons are third all-time behind Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. He is joined by designated hitter Harold Baines as members of Cooperstown’s Class of 2019.
180 of his career saves came at the beginning of his career while playing with the Chicago Cubs. 160 of his saves came over a four-year span in St. Louis, and at 33, established a career high with 47 saves on a 1991 Cardinals team. That year, Smith finished second in the Cy Young Award voting.