Positions: Shortstop, Third Baseman and Second Baseman
Bats: Both • Throws: Right
6-1, 185lb (185cm, 83kg)
Born: October 25, 1952 in Los Angeles, CA
Draft: Drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 35th round of the 1970 MLB June Amateur Draft from Westchester HS (Los Angeles, CA), the Boston Red Sox in the 4th round of the 1971 MLB January Draft-Secondary Phase, the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2nd round of the 1971 MLB June Draft-Secondary Phase from University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE), the Boston Red Sox in the 5th round of the 1972 MLB January Draft-Secondary Phase from University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE) and the Texas Rangers in the 1st round (1st) of the 1974 MLB January Draft-Regular Phase from University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA).
High School: Westchester HS (Los Angeles, CA)
Schools: Los Angeles City College (Los Angeles, CA), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE), University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Debut: April 30, 1975
vs. CHW 3 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB
Last Game: October 4, 1987
vs. KCR 1 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
National Team: us USA (College)
Full Name: Roy Frederick Smalley
Relatives: Nephew of Gene Mauch; Son of Roy Smalley
Drafted by the Expos, Red Sox, and Cardinals, but opting to attend the University of Southern California, Smalley turned pro with Texas as the number-one draft choice in January 1974. Soon acquired by Minnesota in a six-player-plus-cash deal, the Californian began a five-year stint playing for his uncle, manager Gene Mauch, a teammate of his father, Roy Sr.
A switch-hitting, wide-ranging shortstop with power, Roy Jr. led pro baseball in homers at his position in 1978 (19) and 1974 (24). He was the Twins’ MVP the former year and a starter in the All-Star Game the latter.
Smalley’s success diminished after suffering with spondylolysis, a condition in his lower back, in 1981, though he continued to be a dependable hitter and versatile performer. He spent two-plus unhappy years (1982-84) with the Yankees, being moved among all four infield positions. He was used primarily as a designated hitter upon returning to Minnesota in 1985. Smalley set a Twins record for career sacrifice bunts and was among the club’s all-time leaders in homers, hits, and RBI.