Newest Baysox player is home Pitcher Daryl Smith played at Northern

August 24, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Pitcher Daryl Smith may be the Bowie Baysox's newest player, but he needs no introduction to Baltimore or Memorial Stadium.

Scheduled to start tonight against the New Britain Red Sox, only 24 hours after the Orioles signed him as a free agent, Smith grew up in the neighborhood bordered by Cold Spring and The Alameda, attended Northern High and was drafted by the Texas Rangers after his freshman basketball season at Essex Community College.

The year was 1980. Yes, Smith has been around. He is 33, a veteran of the Texas, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City organizations.

His only "cup of coffee," as he calls it, was in September 1990 when the Kansas City Royals summoned him from Omaha. The extent of his major-league experience: two appearances, 6 2/3 innings, 0-1 record, 4.05 ERA.

Why does he go on?

"If I didn't feel I had the tools and the pitches, even the confidence, I'd have stopped long ago," Smith said before the Baysox defeated the Red Sox, 7-5, last night before 1,744 at Memorial Stadium. "But the longer I go, the better I get.

"I'm punching out [striking out] over 100 guys a year, more than when I was young. I'm giving up less walks. That tells me not to give up on my dream. I'd like to get two or three years in the majors. I'd like to help someone."

The Orioles signed Smith because the Baysox were short of pitchers after losing, within three days, Brian Dubois and Rick Krivda to promotions and Erik Schullstrom in the trade with Minnesota for Mike Pagliarulo.

His timing perfect, Smith phoned the Orioles late last week and said he had just completed a 118-inning season in the Mexican League with an 8-4 record.

"He threw for us Saturday in Reading," said Baysox pitching coach John O'Donoghue.

"He showed arm strength and command. After losing those three guys, we need pitching."

The only time Smith has pitched at Memorial Stadium was for the Hearst All-Stars in 1979, the year he graduated from Northern High. Three years later, he was saluted as the Maryland Star of the Future at the Tops In Sports banquet after posting a 16-5 record in Single-A Asheville. Cal Ripken won the award the year before.

Later, as he bounced from one organization to another, he worked out during off-seasons in the stadium tunnel with the likes of Jim Palmer, Scott McGregor and Tippy and Dennis Martinez under Orioles pitching coach Elrod Hendricks.

"I never got a chance to be with the Orioles," Smith said. "Until now."

It has been a circuitous route. Even in the past three years, he pitched in Omaha, Italy and Mexico.

"It was fierce for pitchers," said Smith, referring to his Italy experience, where he had a 12-4 record, 159 strikeouts and 40 walks. "The hitters used aluminum bats. I was going through a divorce, and went to Italy only to get away."

The way Smith figures it, he'll get three Baysox starts before the playoffs. If he fares well, it could be a start toward satisfying "the itch that has never left me, pitching in the majors."

NOTES: The Baysox, coming off a 1-6 road trip, rallied for three runs in the eighth to win and maintain their one-game lead over the fifth-place Binghamton Mets. Brad Tyler's 17th triple drove in two of the runs. Jose Mercedes (5-8) scattered 10 hits en route to his third complete game. It was Bowie's second nine-inning complete game; Terry Farrar has the other. New Britain had taken a 4-2 lead after four innings on two-run homers by Jim Crowley (11th) and Les Wallin (third). Brent Miller stole home for Bowie's first run and singled to drive in the second; Tim Holland tied it at 4 with his eighth home run in the seventh. New Britain went ahead, 5-4, in the eighth when Scott Bethea scored on an infield out. . . . P Mark Smith, who started for the Baysox last Thursday, was returned to Single-A Frederick. . . . It'll be Smith vs. Smith tonight -- Bowie's Daryl and New Britain's Tim (6-10). . . . Baysox C Gregg Zaun and DH T. R. Lewis are on the Eastern League's season-end All-Star team by vote of score keepers and media.

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