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On this Date in Cardinals History: Jan. 8, 2002

On this day nine years ago the greatest defensive shortstop in the history of the game is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ozzie Smith is named on 91.7 percent of the ballots of sportswriters in his first year of eligibility for the hall.

A .262 career hitter with only 18 home runs -- although he cranked a pretty memorable one in the 1985 National League Championship Series in 19 seasons -- smith impressed balloters more with his 13 Gold Gloves and his 15 All-Star Game invitations.

The Wizard led the National League in fielding assists six times and currently ranks second on the all-time assists list -- first amongst shortstops.

His range to his right was incredible, but the thing that really made him stand out was his incredible anticipation of where the ball was going and to be ready for it when it go there. He was also a ghost at second base when he turned double plays, getting off the relay throw to first with amazing accuracy regardless of the proximity of the baserunner.

Click here to see a highlight video of some of Ozzie's best plays.

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