Dave Smith dies at 53; the All-Star closer holds Houston Astros record

Dave Smith

All-Star closer holds Astros pitching mark

Dave Smith, 53, a former All-Star closer who holds the Houston Astros record for games pitched, died Wednesday in San Diego of an apparent heart attack.

Smith was an All-Star with Houston in 1986 and 1990, and had 216 saves in a 13-year major league baseball career. He played with Houston from 1980 to ’90 before finishing his career with two seasons with the Chicago Cubs.

His 563 outings with the Astros is a club record, and his 199 saves total ranks second to Billy Wagner. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound right-hander finished with an overall record of 53-53, a 2.67 earned-run average and 216 saves.

Smith was a minor league pitching coach in the San Diego Padres organization from 1994 to ’98 and a coach on the team’s major league staff from 1999 until he resigned in June 2001. He missed the first month of the 2001 season to complete an alcohol rehabilitation program.

Smith was born Jan. 21, 1955, in Richmond, Calif., attended Poway High School and became an avid surfer. After pitching for San Diego State, he was drafted by the Astros in 1976.

-- Staff and Wire Reports