JUPITER, Fla. -- If Cardinals Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith could still do his trademark backflip at age 57, he surely would have done one as he entered the field Saturday morning.
Fifteen years after a feud with manager Tony La Russa contributed to his retirement, Smith suited up in a Cardinals uniform and returned to the field as a guest instructor.
"It's nice breathing good baseball air," Smith said. "It's really like coming home. It really is."
Smith accepted an invitation from new manager Mike Matheny to join the club in uniform this spring, something he hasn't done since he retired following the 1996 season. He'll stay about a week, working with infielders, base runners and in any other areas the Cardinals see fit.
The 13-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner walked out to the back fields at Roger Dean Stadium Saturday morning after practice had already begun. He found former teammate Willie McGee, who is also back as a guest instructor, and the laughs began almost i...