Aberdeen Baseball Club, and Granite City Oiler, outfielder Connor Smith is one of the clubs up and coming young stars. Having just completed his first full year of playing baseball, Connor is already making his presence felt on and off the field.
Smith joined the club a couple months into the 2018 season and quickly fell in love with the sport. An Aberdeen native, Connor grew up playing all the typical British sports. He played football, rugby, tennis, badminton, squash, swimming, and cricket. Sports was clearly always his passion, but never quite clicked with any particular sport until he came across Aberdeen Baseball Club on the internet.
“I’ve always wanted to play baseball but never thought there was a club where I lived” Connor stated. “I just looked on the internet to see if there was a baseball club near me, because I wasn’t playing anything at the time, and found the club.”
Connor says he enjoys playing baseball for many reasons such as the atmosphere and team spirt, helping his team win games, the history of the sport, and best of all, the combination of hitting and fielding and the variety of different teams.
Since joining the club in mid-2018, Connor has played a variety of positions. Being a lefty, a left-handed thrower, positions are limited in baseball. In his short career, he has played all three outfield positions, along with first base and pitcher.
At the end of the 2018 season, Connor, having fallen in love with the sport, decided to try out for Team Great Britain. He would be the only player, native to Scotland, to try out. Having only played a few months, Connor did not make the cut this time, but valuable lessons were learned and an eagerness to return grew stronger.
Dedicated to making Team GB, Connor now how a focus and a sense of purpose, a goal to strive for in his young baseball career. Hitting the gym and focusing his workouts to baseball specifics helped young Connor slim up and get stronger.
When asked why he wants to make Team GB, Connor said “because I love baseball more than anything else in the world, and I would love to represent Scotland and the UK playing the sport that I love and care about so much.”
Having spent the off-season working towards this goal, Connor headed south to try out once again before the 2019 season started. He would not make the cut again but this gave Connor the chance to be reevaluated, showing how dedicated he was, and giving himself and his coaches and idea of the progress he has made in such a short amount of time.
With the start of the 2019 season came Connor’s favourite baseball moment, being named the starting centerfielder for the Granite City Oilers. In his starting debut, he would face the newly formed, cross-town rivals, Aberdeen Express. In the contest, Connor would put up an impressive stat line, going 2-4 at the plate with one double while driving in 3 runs.
Having put together an impressive 2019 season, which saw young Connor lead the club in RBI’s, t
ake home the Oiler’s Most Valuable Player award, and the President’s Award, he again travelled south to try out for Team GB. Now having played for one full year, trying out for his third time, Connor would make an impression on coaches with his commitment and dedication to the sport. All the hard work would pay off as he was selected to participate in the National Team Development Programme at the High Performance Academy.
Connor has been able to use his talents and passion for the game to help grow the sport with our youth programme. Alongside Casey Mackenzie, who herself was the first woman to become an umpire in Scotland, together they help children as young as 4 years old learn to play baseball. Dedicating their time and effort on Saturdays throughout the spring, summer, and even into the fall, Connor and Casey help cement the foundation of the club for the future.
Truly, the dedication to his continued growth as a player and a role model for the children of Aberdeen, the future is bright for Connor Smith. The Aberdeen Baseball Club is proud to have him represent the club, city, and country in such a spectacular way.