Boston Red Sox: Most underrated players in franchise history (part 2)

ANAHEIM - OCTOBER 12: Bruce Hurst of the Boston Red Sox pitches during Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS against the California Angels played on October 12,1986 at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM - OCTOBER 12: Bruce Hurst of the Boston Red Sox pitches during Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS against the California Angels played on October 12,1986 at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 6
Next
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Reggie Smith

Spending the first eight seasons of his career with the Red Sox between 1966 and 1973, Reggie Smith was a durable rifle-armed outfielder who hit for good average and power. A core member of the Impossible Dream team of 1967, Smith played 140 or more games in every one of his seasons in Boston except for two (in which he still played in 115 and 131 games).

Smith was a reliable power hitter who put up a .267 average to go along with 149 home runs and 536 RBI in 1014 games for Boston. In the famous 1967 season, he batted .246 with 15 home runs and 61 RBI, but he came into his own after that and put up several productive seasons.

His best season in a Red Sox uniform was in 1971 when he hit .283 with 30 home runs and 96 RBI. He was also an All-Star for the Red Sox in 1969 and 1972.

After leaving Boston in 1973, he spent two and a half seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, five and a half with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a final season with the San Francisco Giants before retiring after the 1982 season. Smith then spent time as a coach and instructor in the Dodgers organization before becoming a hitting coach for the American national baseball team that competed (and won) in the Olympics.

While players like Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Conigliaro, and Jim Lonborg are the first names that come up when discussing the Impossible Dream season, Reggie Smith tends to be overlooked. Unless you were alive at the time or have a deep understanding and appreciation of Red Sox history, he’s been underrated in the annals of Red Sox history; his numbers show that it shouldn’t be the case as he was one of their best players of the late 1960s/early 1970s.