ATLANTA (AP) — Dwight Smith, a runner-up for NL rookie of the year who played on Atlanta’s World Series-winning team in 1995, died Friday, the Braves announced. He was 58.
The Braves said the former outfielder and pinch-hitting specialist died of congestive heart and lung failure. He lived in suburban Peachtree City, about 30 miles south of Atlanta.
Smith played in the big leagues for eight years, starting out 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., has also spent time in majors, most recently with Baltimore in 2020.
The elder Smith served mostly as a pinch-hitter with the Braves in 1995, hitting .252 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 103 games.
Atlanta defeated Cleveland in six games to win the World Series. with Smith appearing three times as a pinch-hitter. 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 Truist Park,” the team added.
Smith played one more season with the Braves to close out his career. He batted just .203 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 101 games. He did not appear in the postseason as Atlanta again reached the World Series, losing to the New York Yankees.
Smith had his best season as a rookie with the Cubs in 1989, batting .324 with nine homers and 52 RBIs to help Chicago win the NL East. He was runner-up to teammate Jerome Walton for rookie of the year.
“We are saddened to learn of the death of Dwight Smith and send our 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 during the strike-shortened season, then moved on the Braves the following year.
Smith was survived by his wife Cheryl, Dwight Jr., and daughters Taylor and Shannyn.