Saves king Smith hopes to come back, close out retirement

October 29, 1997|By SPORTSTICKER

Baseball's all-time saves leader Lee Smith, who retired from the Expos on July 15 because of a lack of regular work, apparently wants to return for a 19th season.

The former Oriole, who will turn 40 in December, went 0-1 with five saves and a 5.82 ERA in 25 games in 1997. He has 478 saves.

"I just want to pitch," Smith told the Rolaids Relief Man program. "If Eck [Dennis Eckersley] can do it at [age] 43, I can do it, too.

Smith added: "I was throwing 91 or 93 [mph], but it's tough to go out there and pitch every two or three weeks. Sometimes I didn't even [get to] warm up. So I just thought I'd go home and spend the summer with my kids."

Pub Date: 10/29/97

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