I wanted very badly to name this post Another Brick in the Wall, but to do so would be disingenuous; this is the only card of Brick Smith that I own. It also happens to be his only major league card and, thus, the only Brick in my “Wall of Mariners.”
Changing the format of the blog from featuring trades and purchases (Maildays!!) to anecdotal pieces about the players to have donned the Seattle uniform has been difficult with players like Smith. The former first baseman’s MLB career consisted of just 20 plate appearances over 2 seasons (’86, ’87) and there wasn’t anything of significance to report. So in cases like this, I rely on just plain dumb luck. And I’m feeling pretty lucky about now.
Knowing there wasn’t a lot out there about Smith, I resorted to checking out his Wikipedia page, where I came across this:
Could it be? An educational reference for something I so desperately wanted to tie in with the Pink Floyd classic! Is this some type of protest (one that falls short of a choir of school children singing, ‘we don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control”)?
The link referenced in the 7th grader’s attempt at… oh, how I wish I could say it was dark sarcasm… complaining about the difficulty of the class was, in fact, a dead link. However, I eventually found a Providence School and lo-and-behold, there was a reference to a Brick Smith, assistant baseball coach for 20+ years. No mentioning of him as a teacher.
Unfortunately, Brick’s card didn’t scan so well. But then it dawned on me that even this misfortunate event played into the whole Another Brick in the Wall theme. If you’ve ever seen The Wall, then you remember the scene featuring the protest song, and the faceless masks worn by the children…and this scan fits perfectly with that. It’s like a card of a faceless player.
Roger Waters drew lyrical inspiration from his experience in the Cambridge schools he attended as a youth and created Pink Floyd’s iconic Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2. Instead of inspiring kids, Waters found the educational system there to be oppressive. “The same who are susceptible to bullying from other kids are also susceptible to bullying by the teachers,” the former Floyd leader is quoted as saying.