Seeing him standing in a classroom passionately teaching history, many would not begin to suspect the baseball career that Brick Smith left behind.
A first baseman, Brick Smith played professional baseball from 1982-88 before coming to Providence Day School to teach history. He spent a majority of his career with the Seattle Mariners, but played for three different organizations in total. Smith fondly recalls his time in the league, reflecting on how significantly things have changed in 30 years. In a time where salaries weren't doled out in the orders of millions, Brick Smith’s love of the game was the driving force behind his career.
Mr. Smith recollects his time playing college baseball for Wake Forest University. “I was getting a lot of attention my junior year”, he admits. Instead of taking up an offer he received his junior year, however, Smith stayed to finish his degree before moving on to professional baseball.
Brick Smith running to field a ground ball. Photo courtesy of Brick Smith.
This attitude stands out from what can be observed in this day and age; the temptation of money means that athletes are more motivated to “go pro” than to earn their degree. It can therefore be said that for some, college serves only as a bridge to reach a professional level of athletics. Contrarily, Smith’s choice to earn his degree illustrates his ulterior motives and priorities. Brick Smith’s stance on the value of education proved to serve him well as he began his transition to teaching.
Following an ankle injury and operation, Smith took on a different sort of offer: a job opportunity at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. With barely any time to recover or prepare after his surgery, he was offered a position that required him to start promptly. Developing a passion for educating, Smith returned to college to obtain his Master’s Degree.
“What people don't realize is how much time you all spend with one another”.