A former Major League Baseball player who won a World Series ring with the Atlanta Braves in the mid-1990s just passed away, the team announced Friday.
Dwight Smith, an outfielder who played with the Chicago Cubs prior to winning a championship with the Braves in 1995, was just 58 years old at the time of his death, CBS Sports reported.
Smith, who played in the majors from 1989-1996, was first drafted by the Cubs and helped that team reach the postseason in 1989, the same year that he also finished second place in the race to be honored as the National League’s Rookie of the Year, which was awarded to his fellow Cubs teammate Jerome Walton.
An “integral part” of the Braves’ 1995 championship team
“We are saddened by the passing earlier today of Dwight Smith, an integral part of our 1995 World Series Championship team,” the Atlanta Braves said in a statement posted to the team’s official Twitter account.
“The 1989 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up, Dwight enjoyed an eight-year major league career that included two postseason trips with the Cubs and Braves,” the statement continued. “Dwight was also a beloved alumni member, and his infectious smile will be missed around Truist Park.”
“Our deepest condolences to his wife, Cheryl, daughters Taylor and Shannyn, and son Dwight, Jr.,” the team added.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 22, 2022
Beloved player in Chicago on and off the field
The Chicago Cubs also posted a brief message to mark Smith’s passing on the team’s official Twitter account, and said, “We are saddened to learn of the death of Dwight Smith and send our condolences. Selected by the Cubs in the 1984 June Draft, Smith roamed the outfield for five seasons with Chicago, helping the 1989 club reach the postseason and finishing 2nd in NL Rookie of the Year voting.”
We are saddened to learn of the death of Dwight Smith and send our condolences.
Selected by the Cubs in the 1984 June Draft, Smith roamed the outfield for five seasons with Chicago, helping the 1989 club reach the postseason and finishing 2nd in NL Rookie of the Year voting. pic.twitter.com/HShOnwWS2Z
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 22, 2022
WGN reported that Smith was a beloved player in Chicago in part because of his abilities but also because of his constant smile and light-hearted attitude, not to mention his ability to sing, which he showcased twice for fans by singing the National Anthem prior to the first pitch during a July 1989 home game and again for the team’s home opener in April 1991.
Died of congestive heart and lung failure
According to ESPN, Smith also briefly played with both the Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles during the strike-shortened 1994 season before ending up in Atlanta for two seasons.
The Braves revealed to the network that the cause of death for Smith had been due to congestive heart and lung failure.