Smolinski had been playing for the Rangers AAA team the Round Rock, Texas Express. He had played only eight games there batting .276. He has spent most of this season in AA ball with the Frisco, Texas Roughriders where he was a Texas League mid-season All-Star. There he batted .267 with ten homers and 35 RBI.
Smolinski has persevered through multiple injuries since beginning his professional career in 2007. He has played for three organizations the Nationals, Marlins and the Rangers.
This past winter he signed a free agent minor league deal with the Rangers.
Smolinski was in uniform for the Rangers home game Monday in Arlington against the Astros. He didn't start, but he got into the game in the seventh inning as a pinch hitter. He struck out in that at bat. Smolinski got a second trip to the plate in the ninth inning. He grounded out to first base to end the game. Smolinski also played in leftfield.
While the game was going on, Smolinski's parents Mary and Mike were at their home in Rockford watching it on their laptops. They got a call from their son Monday afternoon informing them that they were the parents of a Major Leaguer.
Mary Smolinski recalls her emotions, "Just excitement and anticipation. A bit of relief actually and amazement," she told Eyewitness News.
And how excited did Jake seem to be on the phone?
"He kind of keeps everything to himself and stays under control," says Mike Smolinski. "He doesn't get too high or too low, so you never know when he's excited."
"No, no no. He was excited," says Mary Smolinski. "I could detect. No doubt about it."
The Smolinskis plan to be in Texas Wednesday night to see their son play in person.
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