ST. LOUIS — Ozzie Smith is a St. Louis treasure.
The 'Wizard of Oz' has helped author some of our favorite baseball memories over the years.
Smith recently sat down with 5 On Your Side Sports Director Frank Cusumano for an interview, where the two had some fun with the questions.
And yeah, Ozzie thinks he can still pick it at 64 years old.
"You're in great shape. Right now could you go out and play a few innings at shortstop?" Cusumano asked. "How many innings?" Smith said. "Three innings," Cusumano said. "Two," Smith responded. "And make plays?" Cusumano said. "Yes." Smith said.
"I think it's like riding a bike. When you do what I do for as long as I did it you never really lose that. You lose range. You lose quickness and stuff. But the hands, still got 'em, Frank," Smith said.
But when did Ozzie last try that iconic backflip?
"41. And it wasn't pretty, Frank," Smith said.
Frank and Ozzie also reminisced on some of the most famous people the hall of famer had come into contact with over the years. There's one that really stood out for Smith.
"Denzel Washington," Smith said. "I got a chance to sit down one night at a cigar bar and hang out with Denzel... Hanging out and him knowing who I was was pretty cool."
Smith is a great golfer as well, and often pairs up with some of the most famous people in the world to play around. So just how has he fared against another all-time great in another sport, Michael Jordan?
"We've probably played maybe 10 or 12 times... He owes me money," Smith said.
One of the more famous Ozzie stories was about how he had to practice by himself growing up. Here's how the Wizard remembers it.
"I had to play by myself a lot, and we didn't have a whole lot. And I'm not going to harp on that, because it's not about what you have, it's about what you do with the opportunity when it presents itself," Smith said. "Enjoying the game as much as I did and realizing I had good hand-eye coordination, I had a brown paper bag that I took with a tennis ball, and that was my imaginary glove. And that's really how I learned to play by myself."
If you've ever met Ozzie in person, you know why everyone talks about him the way they do. You'll never meet a nicer guy. There's a reason for that.
"It's because if this is going to be the only chance a person has to meet me, I want the experience to be a pleasant one," Smith said. "You hear all of the bad stories like, 'That was one of my favorite players but my kid went up and asked for an autograph and he said no'. I don't ever want that to happen. So I make it a point that if I have time that if people want an autograph, I give it to them."
As a baseball hall of famer who's done so much for his sport and community over the years, you might think Ozzie has done it all. He does still have one goal he's working towards, though...
"To live to the ripe age of 100, still play gold and shoot under 80," Smith laughed.