Fred Claire: "Jackie [Robinson] would be proud of Reggie"
By Fred Claire via Facebook, April 22, 2019
At a time we honor Jackie Robinson, it is not a surprise to see that Jackie took the time to reach out to Reggie Smith with the words: “I know who you are...I like the things you stand for...keep it up young man.” Jackie would be proud of Reggie, who spends his time and energy helping young players prepare for college through his work with the Reggie Smith Foundation. I’m honored to be on Reggie’s board of directors. He is a great friend and a born teacher; providing life lessons for youngsters through baseball. When the Fox people took over the Dodgers in 1998 and traded Mike Piazza they pressed me to fire Bill Russell. I told Fox I felt Bill deserved more time in view of the turmoil but if Bill had to be let go there was one direction: Reggie as our manager in the short term to get through a hectic time and then Mike Scioscia as our long term manager. I was fired shortly after my recommendation. I have no regrets—Reggie would have done a great job and then moved back to his desired coaching position and Mike would have managed the Dodgers for decades.