For the first time ever, a product of the Louisville baseball program will be playing in the World Series.
Will Smith, who starred at Kentucky Country Day and Louisville before becoming a first round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016, is headed to baseball’s biggest stage. The Dodgers secured their spot in the biggest of baseball shows by disposing of the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in Sunday night’s NLCS Game 7.
Smith played a large part in the victory, tying the game up with a shift-beating, two-run single in the third inning.
Smith has been clutch for Los Angeles throughout the postseason, including in Game 6 of the NLCS when he launched a three-run home run off of Atlanta’s Will Smith. The matchup marked the first time in Major League Baseball history that a pitcher squared off against a hitter of the same name.
Smith has been a revelation behind the plate for the Dodgers since exploding on the scene in the summer of 2019. Earlier this month he became the first catcher in baseball history with a five-hit game in the postseason and only the ninth player ever to reach five hits in a playoff game.
Not bad for a kid who played for a local high school not exactly known for its baseball prowess.
It should be noted that another former Cardinal also has a chance to win a ring here.
Brendan McKay, the 2017 Golden Spikes Award winner and one of the greatest college baseball players of all-time, is a member of the Tampa Bay Rays franchise. He has missed the entire 2020 season, first because he tested positive for Covid-19, and later because of a shoulder injury which required surgery in August.
With all the Cardinal talent playing major roles in the bigs right now, my guess is this far from the last time we talk about U of L products taking center stage in the Fall Classic.