Saturday, December 07, 2019 07:05pm
North Adams, MA now: 19 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Printer Friendly Version
   Recommend this story to a friend

iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Smith First 'Cat In The Majors

07:00AM / Monday, April 02, 2007

Former Steeplecat team member Tim Pahuta "interviewed" pitcher Joe Smith during the summer of 2004. [Photo courtesy of Steeplecats General Manager Sean McGrath]
Port St. Lucie, FL / North Adams – The North Adams SteepleCats can now claim a major leaguer among their alumni.

Former Steeplecat right-handed pitcher Joe Smith was informed by the New York Mets on March 30 that he would be on their opening day roster. Smith, who has logged less than 50 innings pitched as a professional, was a non-roster invitee to the Mets camp.

Drafted in the third round of the 2006 Amateur Draft out of Wright State University, Smith began his professional career with the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League. He collected nine saves in 17 appearances, earned a promotion to Double-A Binghamton, and later, to a major league spring training camp.

Smith becomes the first MLB from one of the recent NECBL expansion teams, Sanford, Vermont and North Adams, to have a player reach the major leagues.

Great Talent

"We're proud of him," Wright State head coach Rob Cooper said. "The type of player he is and the passion that he has for the game is amazing. He's a great talent and an even better person, we couldn't be more proud of Joe."

But before all that, Smith was a SteepleCat. Late in the summer of 2004, North Adams needed another bullpen arm to gear up for their playoff push. Catcher Bryan Vickers suggested Smith, a college teammate, for the roster spot.

Management trusted Vickers recommendation and spoke to Smith’s coaching staff before bringing him aboard. Smith joined the SteepleCats on the last day of eligibility, July 15, 2004, along with utility infielder Brock Donovan from the U. of Delaware.

NECBL Opportunties

“The NECBL is about many things, but one of them is about giving
student-athletes the opportunity to mature as individuals and develop their skills on the diamond. We are proud to say that the Northern Berkshires were part of Joe’s development. We hope others like, Mike Wagner ’02, Bobby Wilson ’02, Blake Davis ’03, Cole Gillespie ’05, Chris Homer ’02, Keaton Everitt ’03, Mike Ekstrom ’03, and others are fortunate enough to fulfill their childhood dreams of becoming a major leaguer,” said SteepleCats President John DeRosa. “I hope it’ll be fun for all of the SteepleCats fans to watch his career knowing that he was a guest in our community during the summer of 2004.”

Smith pitched 6.1 innings for the ‘Cats late that summer as a traditional right-hander with an over-the-top delivery. It wasn’t until he returned to Wright State and a new pitching coach, Greg Lovelady, who suggested he switch to his current submarine-style arm slot. Smith then found an increase in velocity from the high 80s to the low 90s that led to a dominating season. That’s when his career took off and eventually became un-hittable in the college ranks.

Different Throws For Individual "Joes"

“Typically a switch from over-the-top to submarine doesn’t increase velocity as much as create deception. It’s really a remarkable and unique story that Joe has. As you can see in MLB, not everyone hits, throws, catches, or pitches the same way. Different mechanics and styles work for different athletes. Obviously, the switch to submarine for Joe naturally fits his physical make-up. I’m glad he had a coach that was able to evaluate him and give him an opportunity to become the talented pitcher he has become," said General Manager Sean McGrath.

“On behalf of the SteepleCats organization, volunteers, host families,sponsors, and fans, we are proud of Joe and the remarkable start to his MLB career. It’s one thing to make it to the MLB’s, but it’s another thing to do it so quickly. Joe’s obviously a very talented pitcher with a good head on his shoulders. We wish Joe the best of luck and a long and healthy career,” said McGrath.

Steeplecats Home Opener June 8

The New York Mets will open their season Sunday night against the St. LouisCardinals at Busch Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 pm, and the game can be seen on ESPN.

The SteepleCats will play their home opener on June 8, 2007 against their Berkshire County rivals, the Pittsfield Dukes. Game time is 7 p.m. at Joe Wolfe Field with gates open at 6 p.m..

For more information, visit a www.steeplecats.com Internet web site.
Your Comments
Post Comment
No Comments

 
View All
Reindog Parade 2019
The annual Williamstown Holiday Walk again featured the...
Pittsfield Tree Lighting 2019
The City of Pittsfield officially kicked off the holiday...
North Adams Tree Lighting...
North Adams kicked off the holiday season with the slightly...
Oh Be Thankful Pie Contest
Gabriel Abbott Schools annual Oh Be Thankful Pie Contest...
McCann LPN Graduation 2019
McCann Technical School held its pinning ceremony for 20...
Williamstown Veterans Day...
Williamstown's American Legion Post 152 holds Veterans Day...
Pittsfield Veterans Day 2019
The Pittsfield Veterans Day Parade stepped off at 10 a.m....
North Adams Veterans Day 2019
North Adams held its Veterans Day observes Monday morning...
Cross Country: Multiple teams...
Ted Yee finished second overall, and Colin Young placed...
Ephs Defeat Amherst, 31-9
Senior safety Ben Anthony's interception return for a...
G Soccer: Smith Academy vs...
Lenox girls soccer team won over Smith Academy 2-0 in the...
Football: Lee vs Hoosac...
Lee High football team wins over Hoosac Valley 12-7 on...
G Soccer: Frontier vs Mount...
McWeeny's successful PK clinched a 4-1 shootout win for the...
G Soccer: Palmer vs Hoosac...
Sydni Jamross scored late in the first overtime Tuesday to...
G Soccer: Pathfinder vs...
McCann Tech girls soccer team win 4-1 over Pathfinder in...
B Soccer: Mohawk vs McCann...
McCann Tech boys soccer team lost to Mohawk in Penalty...
Reindog Parade 2019
The annual Williamstown Holiday Walk again featured the...
Pittsfield Tree Lighting 2019
The City of Pittsfield officially kicked off the holiday...
North Adams Tree Lighting...
North Adams kicked off the holiday season with the slightly...
Oh Be Thankful Pie Contest
Gabriel Abbott Schools annual Oh Be Thankful Pie Contest...
McCann LPN Graduation 2019
McCann Technical School held its pinning ceremony for 20...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved