Mallex Smith at-bat for the Rays against the Baltimore Orioles. Mandatory Credit - Stephen Cabrera

Mallex Smith: Tampa Bay’s Resident Gator Fan and Proud

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It’s not everyday that an individual gets to chat with an MLB player about college sports. Mallex Smith of the Tampa Bay Rays would open up about not just the mentality of the team heading into 2018, but how he is also a fan of the Florida Gators.

Chattin’ with Mallex Smith

Tampa Bay’s Resident Gator Fan

So naturally, the first topic of conversation when Smith revealed being a Gator fan was the College World Series national championship win last year. As a recruit of head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, he holds deep ties to Florida.

“I’m a Florida Gator at heart,” said Smith. “It’s about time we got one in there!”

While committing to Florida, he would never don an orange and blue jersey because of being drafted. The sense of joy for Smith when they won the championship, however, was felt because of the relationships he has with certain members of the team.

Not only is Smith happy for the Gators’ first championship in baseball, but he also is paying close attention to the upcoming NCAA March Madness Tournament, hoping the Gators are going to be able to make some noise.

“I just hope they can make it to nationals,” said Smith. “When you attend UF and you’re not winning, you’re not getting much love.”

Smith also spoke about how he is “hoping they can compete and make it deep into playoffs.”

While Mallex Smith is slinging hits during spring training and wanting to work on his defense, he is sticking by the Fighting Gators of Gainesville in all sports that Florida competes in.

So while Mallex Smith is playing for the Tampa Bay Rays, deep down he knows that he is drenched in orange and blue. He is a member of one of the greatest nations in college sports: The Gator Nation. Here’s to Mallex Smith being a part of the boys of ol’ Florida, while playing in Tampa Bay.

About Stephen Cabrera

I am a University of Florida journalism student from Miami, Florida who is a fan of professional wrestling, football, baseball, basketball and mixed martial arts. I am also a writer and contributor for ESPN 98.1 FM – 850 AM WRUF.

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