ATLANTA – NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Dwight Smith, who played for Atlanta’s World Series-winning team in 1995, died Friday, the Braves announced. He was 58 years old.
The Braves said the former outfielder and pinch-hitting specialist died of heart and lung failure.
Smith played eight years in the big leagues, starting with the Chicago Cubs, splitting a season between the Angels and Baltimore Orioles before joining the Braves for his final two seasons.
His son, Dwight Jr., also recently spent time in the majors in Baltimore in 2020.
The elder Smith served as a pinch-hitter with the Braves in 1995, hitting .252 with three homers and 21 RBI in 103 games.
Atlanta defeated Cleveland in six games to win the World Series, with Smith appearing as a pinch-hitter three times. He went 1 for 2 with a walk.
In a statement, the Braves called Smith an “integral member” of their first Atlanta championship team.
“Dwight was also a beloved alumni member and his infectious smile will be missed around Troost Park,” the team added.
Smith played one more season with the Braves to finish his career. He batted just .203 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 101 games. He did not appear in the postseason as Atlanta reached the World Series again, losing to the New York Yankees.
Smith had his best season as a rookie with the Cubs in 1989, hitting .324 with nine homers and 52 RBI to help Chicago win the NL East. He was runner-up to Jerome Walton for Rookie of the Year.
“We were saddened to learn of the passing of Dwight Smith and offer condolences,” the Cubs tweeted.
After five seasons with the Cubs, Smith signed with the Angels as a free agent in 1994. He was traded to Baltimore in a strike-shortened season, then to the Braves the following year.
Smith is survived by his wife Cheryl, Dwight Jr. and daughters Taylor and Shanin.