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Being from a suburb south of Chicago, Brian Smith is probably basking in the afterglow of the 2005 World Series. That’s not necessarily the case.

“I know it sounds funny, but I’m more of a Cubs guy,” admits Smith. “When the White Sox let Robin Ventura go, that was it.”

Smith also considers Derek Jeter among his favorites. “I like the way he goes about his business on and off the field.”

You may find it strange that a young man listed as a pitcher is so enamored with some pretty good offensive players. Well, Smith is also a pretty good offensive player as well as a top pitcher at Northern Illinois. He’s had some playing time in right field this spring for the Huskies and is currently the DH when he’s not on the hill.

Smith, though, knows he’ll be counted on as a pitcher with Madison and he believes he’s found the perfect place to play.

“My pitching coach (Luke Sabers) played in the league and we have a few others who have played there (NWL). They all told me that Madison is the place to play.”

Smith did some homework for himself. He checked out the Mallards’ website and liked what he saw. “When I saw the pictures of the crowds and the ballpark, I knew Madison was where I wanted to be.”

The NIU sophomore considers himself a control pitcher. “I like working quickly. I also try to make the hitters get themselves out by throwing strikes and changing speeds.”

Smith is coming to Madison with a purpose. “This is a big summer for me, as a sophomore (players can be drafted after their junior seasons). I want to get alot of innings. I’m anxious to get to Madison right when the college season is done.”

He also hopes to get some plate appearances, but isn’t sure he will. “Looking at some of the position players they (Mallards) have, I doubt I’ll be the DH. But, it’d be nice to get some swings.”

Published On: May 12th, 2006