Smith leading drive to make opening day national holiday

  • Associated Press
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:42pm
  • SportsSports

NEW YORK — Ozzie Smith wants the federal government to make opening day of the major league baseball season a national holiday.

The Hall of Fame shortstop is leading a campaign to collect 100,000 signatures within 30 days under the We the People petitioning program, which would trigger a review by the Obama administration. The effort is being backed by Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Budweiser brand.

“Coming from St. Louis, of course being such as baseball town, it’s sort of an unofficial holiday, opening day, so they thought it would be a good idea for Mr. Smith to just take a trip to Washington,” Smith said Tuesday during a telephone interview.

The 59-year-old Smith, known as the “Wizard of Oz” for his great glove, played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1982-96 after spending his first four big league seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

“I don’t know exactly what the odds of success are,” Smith said. “With the Budweiser machine behind it, I’m sure that we’ll get the 100,000 signatures.”

Anheuser-Busch InBev said 10 percent of respondents said they had skipped work to attend or watch an MLB opener, according to a survey by KRC Research. The online survey of 1,004 Americans 21 or older was conducted from Feb. 13-16, and there was a 95 percent level of confidence the error margin was plus-or-minus 3.09 percent.

As for the current hot topic in baseball, Smith has reservations about any attempt by MLB to ban home plate collisions.

“I’m not so sure that it was broken, and I’m of the belief that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said. “I think most of the concussions that come from baseball don’t come from collisions, they come from foul balls off the mask of the catcher.”

More in Sports

Regina’s Tyler Brown stops a shot with Everett’s Matt Fonteyne looking on Sunday afternoon at Xfintiy Arena in Everett on November 19, 2017. Everett lost 2-1.(Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Regina narrowly escapes with a 2-1 win over Silvertips

A shot by Everett’s Matt Fonteyne’s bounces off the post in the final seconds

Falcons set to test Seattle’s ‘Legion of Backups’

Playing without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor is “new territory” for the Seahawks.

No playoff berth at stake, but Apple Cup has plenty to offer

Huskies’ dramatic win over Utah sets the stage for the state’s annual Pac-12 showdown

REFLECTIONS: Tips snap power-play skid, continue penalty-killing streak

The Game The Regina Pats were predicted to be one of the… Continue reading

Monroe football’s historic season ends with loss to Sumner

The Spartans’ big second half hands the Bearcats a 56-14 4A state quarterfinals loss.

Lake Stevens’ Eason is The Herald’s Volleyball Player of the Year

The Seattle University-bound senior setter was a stabilizing presence for the Vikings.

3-2-1, bam! Georgia Dome imploded in downtown Atlanta

The dome opened in 1992, and it was flattened within about 15 seconds.

Huskies rally to beat Utah on last-second field goal

No. 16 Washington scores 10 points in the last minute to stun Utah 33-30.

Saturday’s prep postseason results

FOOTBALL 4A State Tournament Nov. 18 Quarterfinals Central Valley 41, Skyline 0… Continue reading

Most Read