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Ira Smith
Ira Smith

Hometown:
Chestertown, Md.

High School:
Kent County

Birthdate:
08/04/1967

Ira Smith was inducted in the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. Smith graduated from Kent County High School in Chestertown, Md., before joining the Hawks baseball program. His election into the Hall of Fame are one of several awards for Smith, who was aso honored as a member of the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2011, his name was added to the ballot of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame as well.

Smith's collegiate career was nothing short of amazing. The Chestertown, Md., native hit a .488 clip in 1989 before batting an astouding .519 the following year. His batting average in 1990 ranks sixth all-time in Division I baseball. Smith concluded his career with back-to-back Most Valuable Player honors for the Hawks as he held a batting average of .431, which stands No. 14 in Division I baseball history.

His successful collegiate career earned him an opportunity in professional baseball, where he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 37th round of the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft. He began his career with Great Falls of the Pioneer League where he had 37 hits and seven doubles in 50 games before being promoted to High-A Vero Beach of the Florida State League in 1991. Despite hitting .288 at High-A Bakersfield of the California League and .364 for San Antonio of the Texas League in 1992, Smith joined the San Diego Padres organization in 1993.

After hitting .346 and smacking 30 doubles for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, he was promoted to Double-A Wichita to conclude the 1993 season. He made his Triple-A debut in 1995 with Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League and played all of 1996 with the same squad. In 1997, he joined the Detroit Tigers organization. While with the Tigers' Double-A and Triple-A squads that year, he played in 132 games and hit 40 doubles and eight homeruns.

Smith concluded his career with six season in the Northern League, an Independent league located throughout central North America. His tenure in the league saw him register time in Sioux City, IA., Duluth, MN., Winnipeg, MB., and Lincoln, NE. He hit 32 homeruns across this span and held a .389 on-base percentage with Lincoln in 2003. In 2001, he ranked No.4 among all players in the NL with 71 runs.

He ended his professional career with a .294 batting average with 44 homeruns, 164 doubles and 115 stolen bases to compliment a .426 slugging percentage. He held a batting average over .300 nine times in his career.

Smith's outstanding career still holds root today for the Hawks as he is still regarded as the most consistent hitter to ever wear a maroon and grey uniform.