During his speech he compared his baseball experiences with the characters from the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz after which his son Dustin presented his Hall of Fame plaque. Drafted as an amateur player by the Padres Smith made his major league debut in 1978. In addition to winning the Gold Glove Award at shortstop for the eighth consecutive time Smith posted a career-high on-base percentage of.
Smith continued to earn Gold Gloves and All-Star appearances on an annual basis until 1993. After tension with his new manager Tony La Russa developed in 1996 Smith retired at season's end and his uniform number (No. Smith won his first Gold Glove Award in 1980 and made his first All-Star Game appearance in 1981.