Fred Papa Smith’s Legacy was a decorated one as a baseball player. To begin with, he was a very friendly person, so almost everyone loved Papa. However, he loved competing at a high level; you could not have played with him and not give it 100% all the time. For instance, he loved teaching the game. Therefore, it was effortless for him to get your attention on or off the field.
Off to the Minors:
In 1968, Smith, along with Turner, was signed by the Indians to play minor league baseball. In addition to making it all the way up to triple-A, he spent six seasons playing, all in the Indians system.
A few good Career moments:
Moreover, to talk with Papa, you would have to hear one of his stories, like missing a sign that cost him $10.00. However, the one about the home run he hit of an MLB pitcher who was rehabbing was sweet. In brief, it was a game in Hawaii, and the guy was throwing top heat. As a result of getting a hold of his fastball that may have landed in Japan, the plane trip back to the mainland was not pleasant for that pitcher. seeing that both teams were on the same plane ride as they question him about the home run.
Retiring from the Minor Leagues:
After his sixth season, he returned home to play locally. Resulting in a career of 511 hits in 595 games played and a career batting average of .266.
Back home playing:
Fred Papa Smith’s Legacy continued at home in the BBA, and the league felt his play.
Hence, winning championships as a player and a coach, coming up big in some games. Plus, he coached the way he played and gave back to what he likes doing, teaching.
The player, The Coach, The Teacher, and The Dad.
Fred Papa Smith,s ability to play and coach baseball is almost unmatched as a player was fun to watch with his bat, glove, and arm.
Spring training with him was like MLB training; he taught us everything in a pro setting. A player’s coach with the ability to coach under pressure and be calm, but not that calm (lol). Hence, the father figure nickname Papa also had two of his sons playing at the college level (D1 & JUCO).
This is a Tribute to Fred Papa Smith: