for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era | Page 2 | TigerDroppings.com
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chalmetteowl
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re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era

this thread makes me wonder if Will Clark was the most important recruit in any sport that LSU didn't get...

he was a badass at Jesuit around that time and went to Miss St. when Skip was just starting out...

i wonder where other similar baseball players went in that time period when LSU was a nonentity?

maybe they took less money to sign when drafted? UNO was good in the 80s but not before then...


wallowinit
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Louisiana
Member since Dec 2006
7896 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
I went into a game in the mid '70's so I'd have a nice quiet place to study. Maybe 25 people were there all sitting behind home plate. All you could hear was the pop of the ball in the mitt or an occasional bat on ball.


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TheDude321
UAB Fan
Alabama
Member since Sep 2005
1676 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
quote:

So for those that were around at the time - was he just a crappy coach


His 1967 and '68 teams finished the regular season tied for first in the SEC West. His 1975 team was considered the best team in SEC history up until that point--first SEC team to ever hit the 40-win plateau. Skip Bertman's first visit to LSU was as an assistant coach for Miami in the late 1970s--Coach Smith swept Miami in that series. Paul Mainieri played for him for a while and later returned to LSU to lead it to a national title.


COPIOUStiger1
LSU Fan
goin' back SOUTH OLE SONS
Member since Nov 2005
1368 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
Cool stories...my dad was at LSU during the late 70's and he used to take my mom to baseball games for a "cheap date"...I think you could get in free with student ID...he said there were zero people in the stands...probably good for a "cheap feel" as well knowing my dad

just to be accurate...my pops was there in the early 70's as well...undergrad, MBA and PHD and he said the baseball stadium was dead the whole time.
This post was edited on 5/5 at 9:20 pm


montana
Member since Dec 2008
476 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
I grew up on the same street as the Smith family. Coach Smith sold us our baseball and softball uniforms. He was a kind man.

We went to a game in the late '70's. It was empty, but I met Rudy Macklin.

In 1989 I was bartending, and a few guest said that college baseball will be as popular as college basketball in 20 years. They made a damn strong prediction that was true.

Skip Bertman would come in by himself before or after a game, in the '80's, to enjoy himself, and he was rarely ever bothered by guests. He is one of the most approach sports figures at LSU.


DrD
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jan 2010
1194 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
True on most accounts. I was a walk-on in the mid-70's and there was always a spot for anyone who felt they were good enough and wanted to "try out." I respected that about the environment and coach back then. Unfortunately, recruiting was not nationally what it is today - but then again neither was football.
One moment I do recall from my freshman days was going 4-4 in scrimmage and trying to see if Coach Smith was "aware" of my accomplishments. He was sitting way up high in the stands at Alex Box.
I honestly think I would have made the team had I been smart enough to do the following:
#1 - Not try out for position w incumbent all-SEC performer in front of me (2nd base as I recall)
#2 - Not run trial time to 1st base from right side: should have went from left side and told coach I was switch-hitter
#3 - Not went out and partied (per usual) the Friday night before final practice (cut day)

Oh well, I can't complain. I was still playing baseball against the best players in the country every year through MSABL (Men's Senior Adult Baseball League) until recently. I guess you could say he was not a good judge of talent....


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beauthelab
Utah State Fan
Team Boxtard
Member since Feb 2008
4518 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
quote:

I doubt anyone on here actually went to baseball games back then.

I'm showing my age, but I went to them. Not many others did. I remember it being hot and those ineffective fans on the rafters. "Press box" was a wooden table-like affair at the back of the grandstand. It was nothing like it became when Skip arrived.


liquid rabbit
LSU Fan
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Member since Mar 2006
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re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
It was awesome because you could sit wherever you wanted. I'd take my boys and we'd sit by first base. Great view of the field. Stretch out and lean back on the seats behind us. Ah, the good old days.


Of course, the baseball itself sucked.


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blackjackjackson
LSU Fan
fourth dimension
Member since May 2008
6005 posts
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re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
'71-'72 lived off nicholson, g.i. bill.
people would sit in stands and smoke dope.

i don't know who won.


Tomball Tiger
LSU Fan
Magnolia, Texas
Member since Nov 2005
280 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
I was there the year Smith left and Jack Lamabe took over. I walked-on as a junior (after running track at McNeese) and made it to the last cut. Lamabe was definitely an improvement over Smith, but no one really gave a crap about baseball back then. I loved the chance to practice for a few days at Alex Box, but for most everyone else, it wasn't a big deal.


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Lou the Jew from LSU
LSU Fan
Ridgeland MS
Member since Oct 2006
737 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
I went to some with my buddies because we loved baseball. Maybe 100 people there. Your student id got you in, no charge. I remember a very good hitting first baseman, anybody remember who that was? Went on to be a doctor I think.
It was baseball in its purest form. You could hear the manager talking to the pitcher out on the mound, every glove pop, the ball whizzing by. Quiet, green, bucolic.


Tomball Tiger
LSU Fan
Magnolia, Texas
Member since Nov 2005
280 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
Funniest part of the game was when Big Red was in the stands. When the opposing manager would go out to the mound to talk to his pitcher, Big Red would do a marching cadence for every step the manager took, "Hup, hup, hup!". It annoyed the hell outta the managers, and they'd stutter their steps sometime, just to try and throw off old Big Red. He was sooo loud, because there were few people in the stands. We loved it!!


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Cincinnati Bowtie
San Jose State Fan
Sparta
Member since May 2008
7021 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
Lamabe recruited a guy I coached with... Showed up at his house, gave him $10.00 and sent him to the store to get a six pack of Dixie so his Dad and Lamabe could talk, lol...my friend signed and played one year before transferring. Said Lamabe's jersey would be stained with tobacco juice from spitting on himself, lol . dude was like Buttermaker from Bad News Bears!!!
My friend has won a 5-A State
Championship as a Coach and is now at a smaller school as AD.
This post was edited on 5/5 at 10:40 pm


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Tigah in the ATL
LSU Fan
Atlanta
Member since Feb 2005
25491 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
quote:

that college baseball will be as popular as college basketball in 20 years. They made a damn strong prediction that was true.
at LSU maybe. Come on, man.


supatigah
LA-Lafayette Fan
Sheriff of Banned Town
Member since Mar 2004
67518 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
Mike Saab showed me a picture from his playing days and he is in the alex box outfield standing in front of a plain chain link fence


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Jwho77
LSU Fan
NOLA
Member since Sep 2003
10475 posts
Online

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
quote:

this thread makes me wonder if Will Clark was the most important recruit in any sport that LSU didn't get...

he was a badass at Jesuit around that time and went to Miss St.


Lamabe was a jerk while recruiting Will Clark and lost him to MSU as a result.

quote:

i wonder where other similar baseball players went in that time period when LSU was a nonentity?

maybe they took less money to sign when drafted? UNO was good in the 80s but not before then...


UNO was great in the 1970's, too. UNO was the first school in the state to go to the D2 CWS ('74) and the D1 CWS ('84). When LSU saw what Ron Maestri was doing, they went and hired a real coach. The rest is history.


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Coeur du Tigre
LSU Fan
Waiting for Geauxdeaux.
Member since Nov 2008
391 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
quote:

Jimbo Smith was the football equipment manager. Being baseball coach was a part-time job if he had time to do it.
Baseball was definitely not a priority back in the time to Jimbo Smith was head coach.


True that. Baseball was a non-revenue sport to the Athletic Dept. and was treated as such. But with the exception of a few programs (like USCw), few schools invested in their baseball programs in those days.

Then ESPN came along and that changed everything. Because 99% of the college football and basketball games were covered by the traditional networks at the time, baseball was the only opportunity for ESPN to get college sports on their schedule. And they struck gold... One word: Omaha. The rest is history.

One humorous incident about Lamabe. He was extremely laid back, even by baseball coach standards, and almost never came out of the dugout. Too much effort. But we were playing Navy one time and the Navy pitcher dropped the ball in the middle of his wind-up. Just dropped it right on top of the mound and it slowly rolled to the grass.

The umpire just waved it off and yelled "No pitch!" That woke up the crowd and Lamabe. ("What did he say? 'No pitch'...?") Lamabe strolls out to home plate to remind the ump that once the pitcher flinches into his wind-up, it's either a ball, strike or balk. The ump realized his mistake and started walking away from Lamabe, around and around and around the plate. He was too embarrassed to talk to him. (He was a very young ump.) Finally, the third base ump came up and stopped the circus. The ump then yelled "Ball". and the crowd (<100) gave him a standing ovation.

Shortly afterwards we got a new AD by the name of Broadhead and he knew all about TV revenue. He came from Miami where there was an assistant coach that was very frustrated by the lack of opportunity to move up....


JEAUXBLEAUX
LSU Fan
Bayonne, NJ
Member since May 2006
47884 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
Yeah I went to baseball then. It was lonely. Of course basketball was packed.


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dimet
North Carolina
Member since Feb 2009
30 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
The problem was that the best players were wearing football uniforms. Jay Blass was the player of the year in NO and he never played baseball. Kent Nicar was drafted by the Yankees, Bob Lane and John Ed Bradley were both all state and NONE of these even guys sniffed a baseball field. Coach Mac was adamant about his football players being football players. He made it known that hoops at the Fieldhouse during the off season was a no no...players didn't listen to that rule!


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cajunjj
LSU Fan
Madison, AL
Member since May 2008
7390 posts

re: for the old-timers - the end of the Jim Smith era
I agree with an early poster, who went to bb games back then?


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