2010 Hall of Fame Inductee: Steve Smith
Oct. 11, 2010
MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine University Department of Athletics' 2010 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is coming up this Sunday, October 17, at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, Calif.
From now until the event, PepperdineSports.com will be running profiles on each of the inductees. Today is Steve Smith's turn:
Steve Smith may be unique among Waves, as he is the owner of a World Series championship ring. The long-time coach has been in professional baseball for 34 seasons since he left Pepperdine.
Following a two-year stint in the Air National Guard and a year at the College of the Canyons that merited all-state honors at the junior college level, Smith transferred to Pepperdine and quickly locked down the starting job at second base in 1975. Known as a quick and fluid player on defense, Smith also was a star hitter in his first season for Pepperdine, as he led the squad with a .320 batting average and set varsity season records for at-bats (203) and hits (65). Additionally, he batted .433 against West Coast Athletic Conference foes.
His efforts merited him a spot on the All-WCAC first team in 1975.
Though his batting totals in 1976 didn't quite reach the heights of the previous season, he was still a key member (appearing in all 49 games) as the Waves won the league title for the third straight year. Over his two seasons playing for head coach Wayne Wright, Pepperdine went 66-32-1. Both years, the Waves advanced to the NCAA West Regional. Pepperdine reached the final of the 1975 event before losing to Cal State Fullerton, and was also knocked out by the Titans in 1976.
At the conclusion of his Pepperdine career, Smith was taken by San Diego in the 24th round of the 1976 June Draft and played in the Padres' minor league system through the 1982 season. He reached the AAA level with the Hawaii Islanders.
Upon the completion of his playing days, he immediately transitioned over to coaching and became the manager of one of the Padres' minor league teams in 1983. He was a manager for 12 seasons in the minor leagues, with highlights including the 1987 Texas League championship (Wichita), the 1988 Pacific Coast League title (Las Vegas) and the 2000 International League and Triple AAA crowns (Indianapolis).
Smith got the call to the Big Leagues for the first time in 1996 and served as an infield and third-base coach for four seasons on Lou Piniella's staff with the Seattle Mariners. He returned to the Majors in 2002 with the Texas Rangers, and that season the club set a team record for fewest errors in a season. In 2008, Smith was part of the World Series championship Philadelphia Phillies squad, and the 2010 season marked his first with the Cleveland Indians.
Smith and his wife Angie reside in Encinitas, Calif. They have two children, Allie (a Pepperdine graduate) and Garrett (a junior at Cal Lutheran). Steve and Allie appeared on the CBS reality program "The Amazing Race" in the spring of 2010 and finished in sixth place. Smith graduated from Pepperdine in 1977 with a degree in physical education and kinesiology.