Smith, Baines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Smith, 61, retired after the 1997 season with more saves than any player before him. His saves still rank third all-time behind Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. A seven-time All-Star and three-time Rolaids Relief Man Award winner, Smith led his league in saves four times, including a career-best 47 in 1991, and had 30-plus saves in 10 of his 18 seasons with the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Reds and Expos.

Lee Smith more or less ascended to the closer role after Bruce Sutter went to the Cardinals, and was the Cubs closer through my high school years. He was a classic power pitcher who occasionally would grove a fastball for a home run. Sutter is in the Hall of Fame and I think it’s right that Smith joins him.