Lonnie Smith was an absolute monster on RBI Baseball III for Nintendo. Just a beast. He was fast and he hit for power. The real Lonnie Smith was not quite as good, but he put together a pretty decent big league career.
Smith spent most of his career in the National League and played for six team in his 17 big league seasons. Smith retired with nearly 1,500 hits, but he would have easily reached 2,000 if could have stayed healthy. He topped the 140 games mark only three times his entire career. Yikes.
Lonnie was a first round pick way back in 1974 and broke into the bigs with the Phillies in 1978. He played well in limited action with the Phillies before being shipped to the Cardinals in a big three-team deal. In his first season with the Cardinals (1982), the 26-year old Smith finished second in the MVP vote as he scored 120 runs and stole 68 bases.
Smith again played well in 1983 but began his struggles with drug abuse. Drugs derailed his career for at least a few years and eventually cost him playing time and hurt his performance. Smith and his problems were shipped to Kansas City where he played reasonably well and was part of a champion. However, drugs were still taking their toll. Smith was then exiled from Kansas City. Things got so bad that Smith blamed the Kansas City GM for ruining his career. Smith went as far as to buy a gun and create a plan to kill the GM. Hmmm.
At any rate, Smith was able to clean himself up and get over his murderous rage. He landed a job with Atlanta and worked as a backup outfielder for a season. He won the starting job the next season and had a few terrific years in Atlanta well into his 30s. In 1989 he won the starting job in Atlanta and went on to lead the league in on-base percentage.
In spite of his personal issues, Smith was solid player and played for several great teams. He won World Series titles in 1980, 1982 and 1985, all three with different teams. Later he appeared in the World Series with the Braves, though they lost the 1991 series in seven games to the Twins.