A Play In The Past By:alex Yang

Photo by: Alex Yang

Every weekday, Brick Dudley Smith puts on a different tie and prepares for a day's teaching of sixth grade US History. But before I knew him as the teddy bear teacher of the middle school, he was a major league baseball player.

Mr. Smith teaching his students Photo by Alex Yang

Smith originally didn’t have the aim to be in baseball; he played basketball, football, and baseball. But Smith’s greatest motivation to play professional baseball was because “[his] father played professionally with the Washington Senators,” as well as a longtime childhood dream. Smith was drafted in the fifth round during his senior year at Wake Forest by the Seattle Mariners. Smith reminisces about how he played all over the United States and in two countries. Smith met a lot of “great people,” and has friends all over the place. Smith tells that it was great fun to play baseball, especially in front of “Large, loud crowds,” these were the best especially when they're on your side.

Mr. Smith cracking a joke Photo by Alex Yang

But Smith tells us when you're playing on the road, “the fans aren't so nice, but it goes with the territory." But all this excitement is not without work. During the spring season, the team practices lasted all day and all night, with only breaks to eat in between. On a typical spring day, the practice would begin around four am and continue late into the evening. Smith left baseball at the end of the 1989 season having had four debilitating ankle surgeries, as well as being separated from family.

Mr. Smith watching over his students photo by Alex Yang

After Smith had retired from baseball, he was hired by Providence Day, where he has remained since. Mr. Smith will always be one of my top ten favorite teachers. It was a fantastic class every day, and he always knew how to make his students laugh. Professional baseball was his childhood dream, and would gladly do it all over again.

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Alex Yang
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