NEW YORK — Of the things that Randy Smith will miss most about his friend, longtime Padres scout Van Smith, who passed away on Thursday, the first one had nothing to do with his ability to scout and evaluate talent.
“I’ll think about his laugh,” Randy Smith said Friday.
Van Smith, who joined the club as amateur scout in 1991, passed away on Thursday in his hometown of Belleville, Ill. He was 67.
He eventually moved up in the ranks from amateur scout to professional scout, where he scoured the country for players in other organizations. He did so with a genuine smile seemingly stuck on his face at all times.
“He loved what he did,” Randy Smith said.
Van Smith was one of the scouts who was responsible for sending the Padres positive reports on current reliever Luke Gregerson, who was the player to be named later in the Khalil Greene trade with the Cardinals in March 2009. read more…