NEW YORK — Ozzie Smith wants the federal government to make opening day of the major league baseball season a national holiday.
The Hall of Fame shortstop is leading a campaign to collect 100,000 signatures within 30 days under the We the People petitioning program, which would trigger a review by the Obama administration. The effort is being backed by Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser brand.
"Coming from St. Louis, of course being such as baseball town, it's sort of an unofficial holiday, opening day, so they thought it would be a good idea for Mr. Smith to just take a trip to Washington," Smith said Tuesday during a telephone interview.
The 59-year-old Smith, known as the "Wizard of Oz" for his great glove, played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1982-96 after spending his first four big league seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
"I don't know exactly what the odds of success are," Smith said. "With the Budweiser machine behind it, I'm sure that we'll get the 100,000 signatures."