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Boston College's Garret Smith Is Living Out A Lifelong Dream

Garret Smith, who graduated from Boston College this year, had a lifelong dream fulfilled on Tuesday afternoon when he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays with the No. 630 overall pick in the 20th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.

Garret Smith
Garret Smith

Millions of people have dreamed about getting drafted in the majors, but Garret Smith is one of the lucky one's who actually had that dream fulfilled.

Smith, who graduated from Boston College this year, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 630th overall pick in the 20th round of the 2011 MLB Draft on Tuesday afternoon.

"It was a dream come true," said Smith, who played catcher, pitcher and shortstop at BC. "It's something I've wanted for my whole life. I'm glad it happened on Tuesday, and it was real nerve-wracking too."

Smith was one of two captains for the Eagles this season. In 47 games this season, Smith hit .267 (48-for-180) with 17 RBI. In his three year career on the BC baseball team, Smith had a .268 average with four home runs and 90 RBI. In addition, Smith was 0-2 with an ACC-leading eight saves, a 2.87 ERA, 14 strikeouts and nine walks in 17 appearances on the mound for Boston College.

Entering the draft, which began on Tuesday, Smith thought that his name would be called, but he didn't know when.

'I had a pretty good idea that I was going to get drafted," Smith said. "I thought it was going to be towards the later rounds. I thought it was going to be anywhere from the late teens to the 30s. I was kind of shocked that I went in the 20th, and I'm glad it happened."

Unlike many of the top prospects, who hold draft parties, Smith was at home with his father waiting for the call.

"I was on the couch watching it," Smith said. "It was like the 18th, 19th round and my name wasn't being called, and I was getting a little nervous. So I go 'dad, turn it off after the 20th round, we're not going to watch anymore. If I get a call, I get a call - if not, then it didn't work out.'"

"It came to the 20th round, and the Rays had the second to last pick. I was watching it, and I was getting mad, and was like 'my name better come up.' Then it actually popped up on the draft tracker, and as my name came up, the scout called me. It was really cool."

The Rays' scout that informed Smith that he was drafted was named Tim Alexander, who he had talked with before.

"I'd only talked to him previously once in the middle of the season," said Smith. "Him and his both saw me a couple times down in Florida, but I didn't expect to get picked up by them. I had only talked to him once, and it's kind of a weird thing, but it worked out."

Smith had also been in talks with several other teams, namely the Detroit Tigers, the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. However, Smith was more than pleased at being drafted by Tampa Bay.

"I've always know it for having really good draft picks and developing their players through the minor leagues to where they'll bring them up in a couple years, and you see guys like Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Garza and David Price," Smith said. "I guess they have a really, really good player development [program] in the minor leagues."

"I'm just excited to get this opportunity and work hard and get an opportunity to play for the Rays and get better each day, and hopefully some day make it up to the club."

Smith has not yet signed a contract with the team, but will do so on Thursday night. The terms of the deal haven't yet been disclosed to Smith, and most likely won't be shared with the public.

As for Smith's immediate future, he does not know exactly where he will play, but believes he will either play for the Princeton Rays (class level: advanced rookie) in Virginia or the Hudson Valley Renegades (Class-A short season) in New York.

Smith will learn his fate tonight, as the scout drives up from New York to present him with his contract and inform him of where he will play. Smith said that the earliest he may start playing is in two weeks.

"I want to get out there as soon as possible so I can get those innings in, get better and improve on my pitching," he said.

While Smith spent the last few years in Chestnut Hill in Red Sox territory, he has a new baseball allegiance now.

"I'm a Rays fan now," Smith said. "I'm really excited. It's a great opportunity for myself and my family and I've had the full support of my family, which has been great."