John Dwight Smith
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 175 lb.
- School Spartanburg Methodist College
- High School Wade Hampton High School (Varnville)
- Debut May 1, 1989
- Final Game September 29, 1996
- Born November 8, 1963 in Tallahassee, FL USA
- Died July 22, 2022 in Peachtree City, GA USA
Dwight Smith was signed after being picked by the Chicago Cubs and scout Walt Dixon in the secondary phase of the 1984 amateur draft. His son Dwight Smith, Jr. was a supplemental first-round pick 27 years later and reached the majors in 2017.
Smith was a rookie outfielder on the 1989 division-winning Cubs team, and finished behind teammate Jerome Walton in the Rookie of the Year voting that year. He hit .324, often batting second in the lineup after Walton or third in the lineup after Walton and Ryne Sandberg.
He didn't hit as well the next several years, but came back to hit .300 again for the Cubs in 1993, and slugging .494.
He signed as a free agent in 1994 with the California Angels, and was traded in mid-season to the Baltimore Orioles. He finished out his career in 1995 and 1996 with the Atlanta Braves, appearing in over 100 games each year, often as a pinch-hitter. In the Game 2 of the 1995 World Series, he pinch-hit for Tom Glavine and hit a single.
His career spanned 8 years, and while he appeared in 100+ games six different times, he never had more than 343 at-bats in a season. As a result, he never had enough plate appearances to appear among the league leaders in any category.
An interesting comparison is Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder Gene Hermanski, who is the second most similar player to Dwight Smith, based on the similarity scores method.
Smith played 5+ years in the minors before getting his shot with the Cubs. In 1998, Smith played briefly in AAA in the Orioles organization.
Smith was a coach for the Charleston RiverDogs in 2000.
One site on the web names him to the "All-Time All-Smith" baseball team, along with Ozzie Smith, Reggie Smith, Lee Smith, and others. Another website chooses him as one of the "Top Ten Rookie of the Year Busts of All-Time", saying that he never did anything after 1989. However, that seems unfair to Smith, given that he later hit .300 with Chicago and also was a useful pinch-hitter for Atlanta. Plus, he was not the Rookie of the year - the site may have had him confused with teammate Walton, who was truly a bust.
He sang the national anthem before Cubs games many times in his career.
- Won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 1995
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