Colorado Rockies Old Friend: Seth Smith Slugging In Seattle
Jun 10, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter S. Smith (7) stands on second after an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The former Colorado Rockies’ outfielder might be best remembered for his strikeout to end the World Series… or playing QB at Ole Miss?
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Well OK, so Seth Smith isn’t slugging in Seattle (he’s actually having a slightly below average season this year), but he’s the kind of guy that Colorado Rockies fans probably will always remember fondly if only for his role in pinch hitting and serving a role coming off the bench in that unforgettable 2007 season.
Yes, the former University of Mississippi quarterback (can you believe it?!) came up very, very late in 2007 and enjoyed his rookie season (well, his last few rookie weeks) on the Rockies’ bench when the team got white-hot, before he joined them for the playoff run and pinch hit late in what seemed like every single game.
He’s most famous, unfortunately, for this at-bat (at least in a Rockies uniform):
Damnit, Jonathan Papelbon.
But anyways, as a pinch-hitter that season — remember, he was called up in mid-September, and then made the postseason roster — Smith went 5-for-6 with a triple and four runs scored to end the regular season, and was 4-for-8 with a double, two RBIs, and a run scored in the post season.
In fact, Smith made his big league debut on the 16th of September that year… which is the exact day the winning streak started. From then, until the World Series in late October, the Rockies lost exactly one game — Friday, September 28 against the Diamondbacks — and Smith didn’t even play in it!
So… what does that tell you?
Just kidding, but after playing the next four years in Colorado — and playing as mostly the starting left fielder from 2009 through 2011, Smith was shipped off to Oakland in a trade that returned Guillermo Moscoso (ugh) and Josh Outman (slightly lesser ugh, but still ugh).
Smith has bounced around since then, but always on the west coast; two years in Oakland, one in San Diego, and now one in Seattle, where he’s slashing .255/.329/.453 in 92 games with nine homers and 22 doubles entering play on Monday night.
The Jackson, Mississippi native is 32 years old this year, and signed through 2017, so he may not have too much longer to play (at least not with significant value) after this current contract plays out in Seattle. But as a corner outfielder who can hit the ball — and play not-so-good defense, to be generous — he’s created for himself a pretty decent career that included at least one trip to the World Series.
He’s on milestone watch; six more home runs will give him 100 career, 19 more doubles will give him 200 total, and 272 hits (so, probably through the end of his contract in Seattle) will give him 1,000 big league hits. Damn few guys have been able to get that far. And surely, Rockies fans will always remember Smith for his torrid pinch-hitting in 2007 during the Rockies’ season of improbable comebacks.