More than 40 of golf’s business leaders have already registered for the 2013 NGF Golf Business Symposium to be held at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis, MO.
NGF announced that Symposium guests will be hearing from Baseball Hall of Famer and proud St. Louian, Ozzie Smith. Ozzie Smith, known in baseball as “The Wizard,” is arguably the best defensive shortstop of all time. Off the field, Ozzie is involved in numerous charities and is an avid golfer and noted promoter of the game.
Ozzie retired from baseball in 1996 after playing 19 years in the major leagues, the first four years with the San Diego Padres and the final fifteen with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a first ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. His nickname describes the way he played shortstop—he performed magic with his glove and performed in the infield with amazing acrobatic agility.
Ozzie broke countless records during his nineteen years in the majors:
- All-time assist leader at shortstop with 8,375 assists
- All-time leader at turning double plays, with 1,590
- 13 consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards
- Started at shortstop for 10 consecutive years in the All Star Game, and was the number one vote getter over-all for the 1987 and 1988 All Star Games.
Other noteworthy baseball accomplishments include:
- Earned his 2000th hit in 1992, finishing his career with 2,460 hits
- Consistently one of the toughest hitters to strike out and in 1994 joined his friend Eddie Murray as the only two active players with seventeen straight 100 hit seasons
- Was named to the All Century 100 Best Baseball Players of the 20th Century by Major League Baseball
- Selected as the shortstop on the 50 year Anniversary Rawlings Gold Glove Team and inducted into the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame in 2011.
Ozzie is an All Star off the baseball diamond too. Ozzie’s charitable endeavors almost always benefit children. Currently, Ozzie serves as President of the Gateway PGA Foundation, an organization that reaches out to inner city youth via mentoring and golf programs. He has spent countless hours assisting other various charities in the St. Louis area including the American Heart Association and St. Louis Effort for Aids Dining out for Life program. Ozzie also serves as the Education Ambassador for the Baseball Hall of Fame and headlines a fundraiser, “Play Ball with Ozzie Smith” every year in Cooperstown during Induction week end.
Ozzie’s other off-the-field accomplishments include:
- 2001 recipient of the “Walter Payton Sweetness Award”, a Victor Award given to an athlete who has contributed to his community as well as being recognized in his particular sport
- 1995 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, the humanitarian award of Major League Baseball
- 1994 recipient of the Branch Rickey Award, personifying “Service Above Self”
- 1992 St. Louis Man of the Year, a prestigious civic award never before given to an athlete
- 1986 Father of the Year Honors Group Award
- 1983 NAACP Image Award for Sportsmanship, Humanitarianism, and Community Involvement.
After his illustrious baseball career, Ozzie was a baseball broadcast analyst and restaurateur. Ozzie has three children and makes St. Louis his home because he feels a deep responsibility to give back to the community that has so enriched his life.