Cardinals star picked to serve as Grand Marshal

Former St. Louis Cardinals and Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith will serve as Grand Marshal for the 14th annual Grand Slam Parade on Aug. 15, the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau has announced.

“We’re excited to have Ozzie Smith coming in. He’s a great representative of baseball,” said Jason Fink, executive director of the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau.

Fink added the bureau is excited to bring Smith to Williamsport so that he can have the opportunity to greet people at the parade and see the excitement for baseball in this area.

The Cardinals retired Smith’s number in 1996, the year he retired after 19 seasons in baseball. During that time, he compiled a 0.262 batting average, 2,460 hits, 580 stolen bases and was named to 15 All-Star teams. He set the Major League record for his position in the number of most assists, most double plays, most total chances accepted, most years with 500 or more assists and most years leading the league in assists and chances accepted.

He started his career with the San Diego Padres where he played for four years before moving to the Cardinals where he stayed until retirement. He was considered an integral part of the 1982 Cardinals’ World Series win that year.

In addition to serving as Grand Marshal, Smith will speak at the annual pre-parade picnic hosted by Penn College for players and coaches.

Prior to throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the 72nd annual Little League World Series slated to begin Aug. 16, Smith will be guest of honor at the Grand Slam Breakfast.

Last year, according to Fink, 40,000-plus people lined the parade route for the Grand Slam Parade. If the weather holds up, officials expect as many people this year, he added.