Tracy Smith confirms Casey Smith’s career is over

After a memorable father-son ride to last season’s College World Series, Casey Smith’s career is ending prematurely.

Indiana coach Tracy Smith confirmed the news after Friday’s 7-0 victory over Michigan State at Bart Kaufman Field, explaining Casey’s long history with reactive arthritis.

“It’s something he’s been dealing with for years,” Tracy Smith said. “It’s a pretty frustrating situation because infection or something like that will manifest itself in different joints, so it’s something he’s been dealing with since he’s been little.

“He played through a lot of it last year and, in fact, when he redshirted the year before, that was the reason. It’s kind of a fluky sickness, I guess, because it doesn’t just go away. The condition is bad enough now that some of the medication he’s taking could be detrimental to his longterm health and so right now on the advice of the doctors … he could play maybe, but it may not be the best decision longterm. I’d love it — I wish my son, my player could play baseball, but it’s more important to me that he can play with his kids in the front yard when he’s older.”

Casey, a Bloomington North product, appeared in 20 games this season, including 18 starts. He did not see the field after going 1-for-4 at Indiana State on March 26. He batted .182 with two RBIs in 55 at-bats.

During last season’s memorable run to Omaha, Casey emerged as a key piece in Indiana’s powerful lineup. He batted .309 with 14 extra-base hits (five home runs) and 34 RBIs.

“Regardless of what his situation is now, that can never be taken away and it’s a great memory,” Tracy Smith said. “He played on, up to this point, arguably the best team in Indiana baseball history, so I’m very proud.”

2 comments

  1. That’s got to be heart-breaking for the Smiths and the whole IU baseball family. Bravo to Coach and son for realizing what’s truly important and handling it with class. Best of luck to Casey in this next chapter of his life.

  2. Indeed, it must be a hard loss for Casey and for Coach Smith as well. Both have a lot to be proud of within the Smith family and the memories are forever. The day will come when ‘grandpa’ Smith and ‘daddy’ Smith will tell the story of one glorious baseball season to a new generation, numbing the pain felt today and replacing it with the joy of baseball again. Good luck…and let’s play two with your heart!

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