Ken Smith (baseball)

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Ken Smith
First baseman
Born: (1958-02-12) February 12, 1958 (age 56)
Youngstown, Ohio
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 22, 1981 for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
June 14, 1983 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
Batting average .268
Home runs 1
Runs batted in 5
Teams

Kenneth Earl Smith (born on February 12, 1958) is a former major league baseball player who served as a reserve first baseman for the Atlanta Braves between 1981 and 1983.[1]

Smith was born in Youngstown, Ohio, where he gained early recognition as a star athlete at the city's East High School. In 1976, he garnered national attention when he became the Atlanta Braves' No. 1 selection in the free agent draft.[2] Following a spring training that produced a .400 average, Smith was assigned to a Class A club in Greenwood, South Carolina, in the Western Carolinas League.[2]

Minor league career[edit]

At Greenwood, Smith earned a batting average of .369 in 1977.[2] Club manager Bobby Dews assessed Smith's performance as follows: "Kenny Smith is one of our top prospects in our minor league organization. And, he's a sure bet to make it to the parent Atlanta Braves if he continues to display the desire and determination that has him hitting at a .369 figure right now."[3] Between 1978 and 1979, Smith played for an Atlanta Braves Class AA farm team in Savannah and spent an additional two years with a Class AAA club in Richmond.[1]

Major league career[edit]

Smith joined the Braves in 1981 and saw action in three regular season games.[4] During spring training of 1982, he batted over .300 and looked forward to playing with the Braves in the upcoming season. In April of that year, however, Smith was optioned to Richmond after Atlanta obtained first baseman-outfielder Bob Watson from the New York Yankees.[4] He often found himself in transit from Richmond to Atlanta. In 1982, Smith batted .293 in a pinch-hitting role for the Braves.[5] He spent his final season with the Braves.

On October 20, 1983, Smith was granted free agency.[1] He re-signed with the Braves to a minor league contract and played two more seasons in the Braves organization. After spending the 1986 season playing in the Baltimore Orioles organization, his professional baseball playing career ended.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Baseball Cube
  2. ^ a b c Perazich, Chuck (May 15, 1977). "Kenny Smith Hitting .369 With Atlanta Farm Team". The Youngstown Vindicator. 
  3. ^ Bassetti, John (December 5, 1999). "Valley boxers, led by Mancini, ruled the ring - Boardman's Dave Dravecky was a promising pitcher with the Padres". The Vindicator. 
  4. ^ a b "Kenny Smith's Bubble Burst". The Youngstown Vindicator. April 24, 1982. 
  5. ^ Perazich, Chuck (January 25, 1983). "Kenny Smith In Braves' Plans". The Youngstown Vindicator.