A&M baseball makes it a family affair

His dad led the Aggie baseball team to the Southwest Conference Championship in 1986. Now Adam Smith is following in his dad's footsteps, and A&M fans hope he is able to add to the program's championship totals. Aggie Websider visits with Smith and his father, Barry.

Growing up in the Lone Star State, kids typically decide to wear burnt orange or maroon. But some, like Texas A&M baseball signee Adam Smith, bleed maroon.

Smith grew up as the son of former Texas A&M baseball captain Barry Smith, who led the Aggies to the 1986 Southwest Conference Championship, and Phyllis (Brown) Smith, who played basketball for the Aggies as well. He also has an older brother who just finished his freshman year at A&M, an aunt who has a statue modeled after her near the education department and a grandfather who has a lab named after him.

So it's no wonder why Adam chose to follow in those footsteps when he suits up for the Aggie baseball squad next spring. Barry and Adam both said it's been a dream come true.

"It's something as a dad that you think about but you never know if it will work out," Barry said. "Luckily it worked out but I think I'm still in a state of disbelief. I don't know if it's really sunk in yet to be honest. I think it will when I see him out there on Olsen Field."

Adam was just as excited when he was offered a scholarship by A&M head coach Rob Childress.

"It was a dream since I was a little kid," he said. "I've gone to numerous football and baseball games throughout the years, but I never thought it was possible until I went to the A&M baseball camp last summer and they offered me. They had only called me once before that and I hadn't gotten much attention from them but that was the only school I really wanted to go to. By the end of the camp they loved me and it's been unbelievable ever since."

The 6-foot-4, 195 shortstop hit .472 with 26 RBI and four home runs in his senior season at Klein and he hopes to have an opportunity to compete for the starting shortstop position left open by 2008 Big 12 Player of the Year Jose Duran, who signed a professional contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.

"It will definitely be a competition," Adam said. "Nothing is going be handed to me. I know I've got to go in there and earn a spot and if I'm able to do that hopefully I can fill the shoes that he left."

Barry, who is also the head baseball coach at Klein High School, said that Adam just wants an opportunity to compete for the spot, and that he believes the Aggies have made an excellent acquisition with Adam, who also started at quarterback for the Bearkat football team the last two seasons.

"I think you've got a lot of upside because he's been a football/baseball kid his whole life, so he's never committed to baseball year round," Barry said. "I think he's going to make a lot of strides once he gets in there and works on things year round. He's a good size kid so he's going to swing the bat with some power and he's got a real good arm and can play a couple of different positions so he's got some flexibility there."

Barry also said that because he was a two-sport athlete in high school, he didn't get as much notoriety for what he could do on the diamond.

"Everyone has described him as flying under the radar because he is a two sport guy and he didn't go to a lot of these big showcase tournaments that a lot of kids do in the fall," he said. "I know the coaches saw him in an area code tryout here in Houston and signed him up to go to a camp at A&M. That's where they watched him and talked to him and that's when the offer came."

Adam was drafted in the 28th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but Barry said that was due to signability issues.

"He really wanted to go to A&M and we talked with the scouts and I don't know if what we did was right but we threw out a number that was high and I didn't think anyone would hit on it and they didn't," he said. "I think if we had lowered what we wanted, I think he would have gone in the first five rounds, at least that's what we had a lot of scouts tell us. Several teams wanted to draft him in the first five rounds if the money was right."

But none of that is important now as Adam prepares to follow a lifelong dream of playing at Olsen Field.

"My goal as a little kid with my dad being a coach was to play for him. When that became a reality, my next goal was to follow his footsteps to A&M and I finally accomplished that goal," Adam said. "I like to think that he's really proud of me and I'm excited to go through the same things that he did at the same place."

A&M fans hope that he follows his dad a step further—by leading the Aggies to more championships.




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