Smith batted .321 between Bakersfield and Frisco
CARY, N.C. - On day one of his trip to the 2009 Baseball World Cup, Tim Smith and Team Canada arrived in North Carolina for a few exhibition games against Team USA. Smith, one of the Rangers' top outfield prospects, will be sharing his sharing his experiences with Lone Star Dugout and its readers.
Opening sentences are always tough. I feel like I'm back in the classroom. I'm taking glances left and right, but there's nobody to take a peek off of. I'm riding solo on this mission. So I think a little introduction/background about myself would be appropriate for you readers who don't have the slightest clue who I am. I'll make sure to keep the introduction short and sweet for everyone, don't you worry. No need for anyone to fall asleep mid sentence on the first entry!
Well the name's Tim Smith. I am from Toronto, Ontario way up there in Canada. I was drafted out of Birchmount Park HS by the Mets before I headed down south to take the junior college route. I went to Midland CC and was then drafted again, this time by the Brewers. Draft process isn't done for this guy just yet. Transfered to Arizona State University and was again picked up, this time by your beloved Texas Rangers.
I signed the contract in '07 and was ready to set sail for my journey to professional baseball. Over the past couple years I have been given the opportunity to play in different parts of the USA with the Rangers organization. I have spent time in Spokane, Clinton, Bakersfield, and was a left handed swinging outfielder for the Frisco Roughriders this year.
I say was because I landed a spot on the d-l after a rib injury about two months ago, which sent me off to Arizona for rehab. I actually played in a few rookie balls games this past week, so you can add the AZL Rangers to the list.
The d-l is not exactly the place where you want to be during season. Early mornings, giving it everything, you have to get back healthy followed by long nights of checking box scores of your healthy teammates and friends. A couple of days deep on that disabled list will definitely give you a quick reality check. About 3-4 days into my rehab session I was mentally strained and wanted to get back on the field immediately.
|Smith is playing with fellow Rangers prospect Emerson Frostad.
A month passes by and my spirits weren't so charming as I looked at the schedule and realized there wasn't too much left of season and it was looking like I'd have to wait until 2010 to get the uniform dirty again.
The race against the clock wasn't looking very promising, and when your life and love revolve around this game, it's not exactly a comforting feeling. It's crazy how you can turn a 0 for 25 slump into a 10 game hitting streak though. And my life suddenly took that quick spin.
As I sat there wrapped up in ice, my phone started ringing, showing a random number on the display. I don't know about you, but I tend to leave those random phone numbers for my voicemail. I don't know if curiosity killed the cat or if I was just too mentally strained in the Arizona heat, but I picked up that phone call.
Team Canada was on the other end. I just got an invite to play in the 2009 Baseball World Cup for my country. I was kind of speechless and more than likely sounded like a little school girl in excitement. They wanted to make sure I'd be healthy, ready to go and all that good stuff. The timing was perfect. I had already been rehabbing for about three weeks and I had about three weeks left until I was scheduled to take off with Team Canada. Zero to hero in a matter of seconds.
So as I stated earlier, I participated in a few rehab games in the last week with the AZL Rangers and the trainers and staff gave me the thumbs up to put the maple leaf jersey on. So I write to you today from Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. I'm sitting in the hotel room after flying in from Arizona with a fellow Ranger canuck, Emerson Frostad.
We're scheduled to practise and play 4 exhibition games against Team USA, who also has Ranger members that include Kasey Kiker and Justin Smoak. It should be a good time to gel with new teammates and familiar faces from both squads.
On September 7th we're scheduled to fly out to Sweden and open the tournament in Stockholm. There will be 22 teams representing their countries, split into different divisions of 4 a piece spread all over Europe. The top 3 teams from each division advance to the next rounds of the tournament play. My division will consist of Sweden, Korea, and the Netherlands.
From the looks of it, if we place 1st or 2nd in the division, our travels will bring us to Italy. If we place 3rd we head on to Amsterdam. This will be my first time overseas to Europe, so I can't explain to you how excited I am not only to see new parts of the world, but to represent my country and the Rangers.
Jason Cole approached me and thought it would interest some of his readers if I kept a journal/blog through out my travels. I figure I kind of owe him since I talked such a big game of how my Arizona State Sundevils would own his Texas Longhorns in the College World Series this year. Unfortunately my former school got hook'd by the boys in orange. I mean miracles happen every day right? It's alright, we'll get 'em next year.
I decided it would be a good idea and would definitely be something cool to look back on one day. I will post something either daily, or every couple days depending on my free time. So if any of you readers have any input, comments or questions along the way, feel free to chime in, any help would be appreciated. I definitely need a money title for these blogs, so come on, help a brother out!
Equipment fitting, mugshots, and practise, gotta be up bright and early. Until next time...thanks for reading!
*Random Canadian fact of the day* - In the USA, the last letter of the alphabet is pronounced "ZEE", however, in Canada, it's pronounced "ZED"
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