Originally posted on The Cardinal Nation blog  |  Last updated 5/9/12

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 11: Former MLB player Ozzie Smith and TV personality Kevin Frazier during the MLB All Star Game Celebrity Softball Game at Angels Stadium of Anaheim on July 11, 2010 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Does Ozzie Smith really require an introduction? The Hall of Famer is simply one of the best players to ever don a St. Louis Cardinals uniform as he did as a player with the club from 1982 through 1996. In fact, back in 2007, we ranked “The Wizard” as the fifth-greatest Redbirds player of all time, after only Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Rogers Hornsby. (Many more details about Smith’s career can be found in this article.) As I wrote at the time, “Simply put, pound for pound, the Cardinals’ 150-pound shortstop was the best player of his era and under that criterion might have been the best to ever play the game.” I had the opportunity to speak with Smith via phone on Tuesday afternoon. In the following interview, we touch on a number of topics. They include his return to active participation with the Cardinals as a special instructor, his view of the 2012 major league club, young infield prospects in the system and specifically Tyler Greene, what his close friend Willie M...
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