Arkansas baseball: Former Razorback becomes World Series champion

Drew Smyly, former Arkansas baseball player (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Drew Smyly, former Arkansas baseball player (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
Arkansas baseball
Former Arkansas baseball player Drew Smyly in Game 2 of the 2021 World Series (Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Arkansas baseball player Drew Smyly, 32, can now add something to his already well established resume: World Series Champion.

Smyly, who played for the Diamond Hogs in 2010 and 2011, carved out a role as a relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves this season. He was a steady, guiding veteran presence for his team this season.

He was an important figure in helping the Braves win their first championship since 1995.

The entire state of Georgia and a ton of Arkansans are ecstatic for Drew Smyly and the road he’s taken to get to this point.

Which Arkansas baseball players have won a World Series championship?

Drew Smyly is now one of just five former Razorbacks to have earned a championship ring at the major league level.

The elite club is now comprised of:

  • Smyly (2021, Atlanta Braves)
  • Andrew Beinintendi (2018, Boston Red Sox)
  • Dallas Keuchel (2017, Houston Astros)
  • Eric Hinske (2009, New York Yankees and 2007, Boston Red Sox)
  • Dick Hughes (1967, St. Louis Cardinals)

Smyly appeared in 29 regular season games for the Braves this season, facing 546 batters and striking out 117 of them, according to Baseball Reference.

The left hander has enjoyed stops at Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco and Texas before landing with Atlanta and winning the 2021 World Series.

Smyly is an Arkansan through and through. He pitched for Little Rock Central High School as a youngster and the University of Arkansas for the Hogs.

He was drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers.

Former Arkansas baseball player Ryne Stanek was also playing in this World Series, pitching for the Houston Astros. Hogs head coach Dave Van Horn made comments prior to the start of the series that he hated the idea that one of his former players would get all the way to the championship game and lose.

Kevin Kopps honored at halftime of recent Hogs football game. dark. Next