FORMER HAWK IRA SMITH NOMINATED FOR COLLEGE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
Ira Smith ranks 14th all-time in NCAA history with a .431 average at UMES.
Ira Smith ranks 14th all-time in NCAA history with a .431 average at UMES.

Feb. 15, 2011

LUBBOCK, Texas -- The College Baseball Foundation has announced that Ira "Dude" Smith, former Hawk and two-time Division I batting champion, has been placed on the ballot for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

While attending the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Smith became the first player in NCAA history to get back-to-back batting titles, hitting .488 in 1989 and .519 in 1990. Both years he was selected to the All-MEAC team. His 1990 season ranks sixth all-time in single-season play in NCAA history while his .431 career average ranks 14th all-time.

Among his achievements during his college play include getting 10 straight hits in a period of three games and hitting three home runs in a span of four contests.

After his UMES career, Smith was drafted in the 37th round in 1990 by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an outfielder. He would spend nine years in minor league baseball followed by another five seasons in independent play from 1990 thru 2003. In 1993 with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes he hit .346 in 92 games, including 30 doubles and 32 stolen bases. He reached the triple-A level in 1995, hitting .325 in 59 games with the Las Vegas Stars. He would play in that level the next three years.

Smith was inducted into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2010. He is also a member of the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame and the UMES Hall of Fame.

The voting for the Sixth College Baseball Hall of Fame class will conclude later in February. If Smith is selected, he will be inducted in on July 3rd during the College Baseball Awards show.