Mike Smithson – This Baseball Legend Still Has Game… Now For God!
In honor of The World Series, and Major League Baseball Post season, I wanted to honor a God fearing man who has been there. Bearing a 1987 World Series ring he earning while playing for the Minnesota Twins franchise, a mountain of a man standing 6’8”, name Mike Smithson. Mike Smithson stood at the mound from 1982 thru 1989, pitching for three different teams, The Red Sox, Rangers, and Twins.
I encountered him of all places as a greeter in the walkway of a small town Baptist church in Centerville Tennessee. I met Mike previously as a youngster at a baseball camp held in Nashville Tennessee. At one time during his career, Mike Smithson was the tallest player in Major League Baseball.
Mike started the most of his games in 1984-1985, and played in the longest professional baseball game ever recorded. In 2009 Mike was inducted into the coveted Tennessee All-Century Team.
I was in awe of Mike Smithson growing up, remember him through a child’s eyes. However it’s not all the stats and historical information about this man that impresses me today, but the sight of this towering man, who is now an educator with a genuine love for God. When I shook his hand, I saw a man of God. God sometimes displays His presence in very special people, Mike Smithson is one of them.
He was kind enough to grant me an interview:
Is it true at one time you were the tallest man in Major League Baseball?
At one time yes, until Randy Johnson at 6’10” came into league. I was only 6’8!”
You played in the longest baseball game in history of the game, tell us about that?
It was a thirty-three inning game in AAA. The Pawtucket Red Sox verses the Rochester Red Wings in 1981. The game started Saturday night and was called on Easter Sunday at 4:30 AM, tied at 2-2. The game was resumed a month later. The Paw-Sox won 3-2 in 33 innings. That will be a record I don’t think will never be broken.
Do you have a World Series Ring?
Yes, from the Minnesota Twins in 1987. We beat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games!
Who is your most favorite player you struck out?
George Brett, he was one of the best hitters in game at that time.
How important is your relationship with God and faith in your daily life?
It is important to let people know that being a pro-baseball player does not define who I am. At one time I was caught up in that, but having peace in Christ is what I hope people will now see in me.
Do you ever participate in pitching clinics anymore?
I do some at local high schools whenever possible.
You are an educator now, how important to you is it to tell children and young adults about Jesus?
It might be the only time they hear about Jesus Christ. I want to let them know there is something else out there for them.
What is your favorite bible verse?
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.