The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ozzie Smith leading petition drive to make MLB opening day a federal holiday

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Ozzie Smith wants the federal government to make opening day of the major league baseball season a national holiday.

The Hall of Fame shortstop is leading a campaign to collect 100,000 signatures within 30 days under the We the People petitioning program, which would trigger a review by the Obama administration. The effort is being backed by Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser brand.

"Coming from St. Louis, of course being such as baseball town, it's sort of an unofficial holiday, opening day, so they thought it would be a good idea for Mr. Smith to just take a trip to Washington," Smith said Tuesday during a telephone interview.

The 59-year-old Smith, known as the "Wizard of Oz" for his great glove, played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1982-96 after spending his first four big league seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

"I don't know exactly what the odds of success are," Smith said. "With the Budweiser machine behind it, I'm sure that we'll get the 100,000 signatures."

Anheuser-Busch InBev said 10 per cent of respondents said they had skipped work to attend or watch an MLB opener, according to a survey by KRC Research. The online survey of 1,004 Americans 21 or older was conducted from Feb. 13-16, and there was a 95 per cent level of confidence the error margin was plus-or-minus 3.09 per cent.

As for the current hot topic in baseball, Smith has reservations about any attempt by MLB to ban home plate collisions.

"I'm not so sure that it was broken, and I'm of the belief that if it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said. "I think most of the concussions that come from baseball don't come from collisions, they come from foul balls off the mask of the catcher."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Family of Matias De Antonio speaks outside Law Courts

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS BUSINESS - cow on farm owned by cattle farmer Lloyd Buchanan near Argyle Wednesday afternoon -see Larry Kusch's story  January 04/2006

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What Western Conference teams will emerge from the first round of the NHL playoffs?

View Results

Ads by Google