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Monday, January 08, 2007

Lee Smith's best chance?

On Tuesday, Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn should be the newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, elected in their first year of eligibility.

But Tuesday also marks Castor native and former NSU Demon Lee Smith's best chance for election by the writers committee. Smith was up to 45 percent of the vote following last year's election.

This has nothing to do with the number of years Smith has been on the ballot. Instead it has to do with someone else's timing. Trevor Hoffman broke Smith's all-time saves mark in late September, which should give Smith some added momentum. Hoffman spoke with Smith about attending the record-breaking game in San Diego, but Smith politely declined.

Even with teams' growing emphasis on finding a reliable closer, it still seems unlikely Smith will get the call to Cooperstown this year, thus making the following years longer and longer shots.


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