Dodgers: Remembering the first great 30-homer club
Reggie Smith Rightfield, 32 home runs in 1977, 314 lifetime home runs, 2019 comp: Max Muncy
Unlike Cey, Smith entered the Dodgers building dynasty as a seasoned veteran, already in the 12th season of his 17 season career by 1977. Smith was dealt to the Dodgers in the middle of the 1976 season and he hit his way through the rest of his six-year stint in LA as one of the best on the team.
A real leader and veteran presence, Smith was an LA native and played like he was comfortable in a Dodger uniform. As a Dodger, he made three All-Star games, including his first two full seasons as a Dodger in 1977 and 1978.
1977, the year he joined the 30-homer club, was his best season by far though. Besides his 32 home runs, Smith led all of baseball in OBP with a .427 mark. His triple slash that year was .307/.427/.576, which earned him an OPS over 1.000 and garnered him a fourth-place finish in NL MVP voting.
A seven-time All-Star in his career, Smith finished out his career (sadly) with the San Francisco Giants, but he really showed how steady and consistent he was while with the Dodgers. A true competitor, Smith had five seasons in which he finished in the top 10 in all of baseball for home runs, and he led the AL in doubles twice in his career while with the Boston Red Sox.
To be honest, I had never heard of Smith before reading about the 30-homer club a few years ago, which to me marks him as criminally underrated. With stats akin to those of Garvey and Cey, despite being on the downswing of his age curve, Smith reminds me of Max Muncy: he doesn’t quite get the respect his performance should have deserved.