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Smoak brothers — Farragut Town administrator, Major League Baseball rookie — stay close

David Smoak's college baseball career, at a small South Carolina school, only amounted to a footnote toward his career preparation that now finds him as Farragut Town Administrator.

However, younger brother, Justin Smoak, used his high-profile college baseball career as a stepping stone into Major League Baseball: a rookie starting first baseman with the Texas Rangers of the American League West.

Justin's fiancée, Kristin, joined David to see Justin, 23, get his first-ever Major League hit in a game versus Detroit, in the Rangers' ballpark in Arlington, Texas, April 26 — his fourth start with the team.

“He got a double off the left field wall,” David said, adding about the college All-American first-baseman at the University of South Carolina (2008), “To see him have his boyhood dream come true, of making the Big Leagues, was certainly exciting. To share that with him was a great moment for all of us.”

As for the brothers developing a love for baseball, David said, “I think we can give all the credit to my dad [Keith Smoak]. ... He was out in the backyard every day with Justin working on pitching, fielding or hitting.

“Whenever I played during high school or college, him and my dad would come to the ballgames, he would always have his mitt and a bat and a ball,” David added. “I don't know if he really watched much of the ballgame, because he and my dad were always on the side playing catch or hitting or something every time.”

A utility outfielder at Presbyterian College (S.C.) from 1994 to 1997, David said he “wasn't anything like the player” Justin is. “Although I tell him all the time I taught him everything he knows.”

Justin said, “Seeing him play baseball when I was really young made me want to play even more. He's been to see me play a lot now, it's just great every time we get a chance to be together.”

Though David’s 11 years older than Justin, “We've always been close ... and we’ve always had baseball in common,” said David, 34. “We talk all the time; we text back and forth.

“Of course, growing up in Atlanta I was a huge Braves fan. Justin would tell you he was too.”

As for personality, “We are both pretty laid back and even keel when it comes to anything,” David said. “The difference is he loves to hunt and fish, and I don't know where he got that from. My dad doesn't do that, I don't do that.”

However, “When we get on the golf course it’s about the only time we get to compete anymore against each other,” David added. “I would say that is pretty competitive. ... There's no way I can hit [the golf ball] as far as he can, but hopefully I've got a better game. I think he just enjoys hitting it as far as he can.”

Justin said David is “definitely a better golfer. But every now and then I'll put a score together that's better than him.”

A two-time state player of the year at Stratford High School, Goose Creek, S.C., Justin (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), has contributed 41 hits in 54 games played (180 at-bats) with eight home runs and 32 RBI that's helped Texas to a division-leading 41-28 record as of Monday, June 21.

Three days after his first hit, Justin's first MLB home run came versus the Chicago White Sox, a fourth-inning solo blast.


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