I think this post is from 09, but I remember copying and pasting it again from a thread in 05. It's one one of those events you had to see to know it was true. And to this day, it was one of the greatest shows of arm strength in baseball I've ever seen.
If you ever saw him during infield/outfield workouts you would have no doubt about his ability. And his hard work. That HR he hit in the ASG in Anaheim went 500 feet and was a thing of beauty.
I've mentioned this before but on the final day of the 1986 season the Royals were playing the Twins, who had clinched their first post season since 1966. I was sitting in LF GA with my brothers. The team was taking infield/outfield practice.
Lonnie Smith and Bo were the two LF'ers, with BO being a recent callup from Omaha [Memphis]. When it came time for them to make their throws to 2nd, 3rd and home.... that's when the action started.
Ground ball to LF, Lonnie scoops it up and throws a high lob, that comes fairly close to third base.
Bo is up next. Ground ball into LF, Bo scoops it up and throws a BB that (I swear) never got more 6 feet off the ground and it hits Brett's glove right on the bag. Crowd screams in delight.
They do it again and this time Lonnie throws another semi rainbow to 3b about 3 feet offline. This time the crowd boos. Lonnie's shoulder slump.
Bo up again. He fields a line drive on one hop and fires another BB that hits Brett waist high, while straddling the bag. Crowd goes crazy.
The next two balls that come to LF are for throws to home plate. Lonnie is up and fields it clean and throws a 14 hopper to the plate. The crowd boos. Loud.
Bo fields his attempt and throws a laser to the plate. ON the fly. Crowd (bigger now because of the hubub and everybody came down the line to see what was happening) screams their approval.
Lonnie filds his last attempt, bobbles the ball and throws a rainbow that misses home plate by such a margin that Sundberg has to run up the first base line to field it. The crowd rains down "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"!!!! on Lonnie. He leaves the field and Lonnie was visibly shaken. (Can't blame im).
Bo's final throw from LF was another cannon shot that went home on the fly to Sunny who was straddling the plate. The crowd went beserk.
I remember Howser talking about it in the paper the next day. He stopped Lonnie after practice and told him he was still the player who helped win this team a WS. Lonnie saw the writing on the wall though. He wasn't the same in limited duty in 87. Played in 48 games.
I love Lonnie. We'd have never won the AL West title w/o him in 1985. He was a key cog in that wheel.