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franklin county times

Ex-MCC Eagle gets ticket to the show'

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
June 16, 2001
Jason Smith knows his first trip to "the show" will likely be a short one. But it's something the Sumter County, Ala., native will never forget.
Smith, 23, a AAA player with the Chicago Cubs, was called up Thursday from Des Moines, Iowa. There was some question about the status of starting shortstop Ricky Gutierrez, who has been out with a concussion since June 6, and Cubs manager Don Baylor needed a backup.
So, the former Meridian Community College standout was in a Chicago uniform Friday when the Cubs hosted the Minnesota Twins.
Smith reached the AAA level for the first time this season, batting .212 in 49 games for Iowa with five doubles, four triples, three homers and nine RBI. The left-handed batter has hit .267 in his last 25 games, going 23 for 86.
Smith was selected by the Cubs in the 23rd round of the 1996 draft. He has spent four-plus seasons in the Cubs' minor league system, and was added to the Cubs' 40-man roster last November after earning Double-A and Southern League midseason all-star honors in West Tennessee (AA).
Smith is hoping he will get into a game against the Twins.
Perhaps in the not so distant future, Smith will get that call to come to Chicago as a full-time Major Leaguer.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.