Wright State Raiders: Reliever Joe Smith retiring from MLB

Jan. 31—Joe Smith has thrown his last pro pitch.

The former Wright State right-hander announced Wednesday he is retiring after 15 seasons in the major leagues.

"With deep humility and gratitude, I am officially announcing my retirement from Major League Baseball after 16 remarkable years," the 39-year-old Smith, who opted out of the 2020 season, wrote on social media. "I cherished the experience of sharing the great field with great teammates across eight franchises, backed by the most loyal fans.

"To Erwin Bryant and the Mets organization, your belief in me launched my journey in 2006. I am forever grateful for your giving a sidewinding kid from Cincinnati a chance. From Cleveland to Anaheim, Chicago to Toronto, back to Cleveland, Houston, Seattle and finally Minnesota — each city represents an important page in my baseball story."

A Cincinnati native, Smith was the Horizon League Pitcher of the Year in 2006 and twice named Wright State baseball MVP. He saved 13 games in his final season with the Raiders and set the school's career earned-run average record (1.53) and single-season ERA record (0.98).

Smith was inducted into the Wright State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014, and his No. 21 is retired.

He finishes with a 55-34 record and a 3.14 ERA in the majors. Smith, who is married to sideline reporter Allie LaForce of Turner Sports, pitched in 866 games and notched 30 saves.

Smith's best season came in 2014 when he saved 15 games and had a 1.81 ERA for the Angels.

"Strangers turned friends, friends into family, and I want to thank you for all that you have done throughout this incredible journey," he wrote.