Home Sports Mets’ ‘inspirational’ Dom Smith leading with play on field, too

Mets’ ‘inspirational’ Dom Smith leading with play on field, too

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On Wednesday, Dominic Smith poured his heart out.

The next day, he was part of a peaceful protest across professional sports against racial injustice and police brutality, as the Mets and Marlins chose not to play their scheduled game.

And on Friday, he hit the game-winning home run in a rousing come-from-behind, 6-4 victory over the Yankees to begin the Subway Series and added two doubles and an RBI to cap a doubleheader sweep and 4-3 win in the nightcap.

“For him having a couple of emotional days and to be able to bounce back and stay locked in, to go out there, compete and give at-bats like that in situations like that, it shows how professional he is and the will he has,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said via Zoom. “He’s a kid that’s [gone] from not playing every day to playing every day, and he’s always stayed locked in. His level of concentration, his routine, his preparation is definitely something special.”

It was a range of emotions, from bawling his eyes out during a Wednesday night press conference about the injustice he sees against his race to his sixth-inning drive off Chad Green that keyed a win in the opener of a doubleheader.

Dominic Smith
Dominic SmithN.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Following Pete Alonso’s game-tying three-run shot, Smith turned around an 0-2, 97-mph Green fastball and deposited it over the right-center-field fence for his team-leading seventh homer of the season. Smith, batting .333/.419/.744 with an 1.163 OPS, has arguably been the Mets’ best player this year, finally getting to play every day once Yoenis Cespedes opted out of the season on Aug. 2.

Smith spoke out Wednesday after taking a knee during the national anthem for the first time, describing how he felt during these racially charged times. There had already been postponements in the NBA, WNBA, MLS and MLB after players refused to play following the shooting of an African-American man, Jacob Blake, by police in Kenosha, Wis. On Thursday, seven more baseball games weren’t played, including the Mets-Marlins contest. The two teams, dressed in their uniforms, shared 42 seconds of silence in honor of Jackie Robinson, waved goodbye to each other and left a Black Lives Matter T-shirt across home plate.

“It made me feel really good and made me feel we are on the right path to change,” Smith said after the protest. “We showed tonight we’re not just going to shut up and dribble, shut up and play ball. We stand up for what we believe in. … This is way bigger than baseball. This is life. This is humanity.”

Mets newcomer Michael Wacha has gotten to know Smith and described him as “inspirational.”

“Dom, just a great human being, man,” Wacha said. “Very passionate and just loves this game more than anything. One of the best teammates I’ve been around.

“I’ve just learned so much from him. It’s an honor to be around him and to be one of his teammates for sure.”

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