If you are drafted in the 5th round while you are finishing playing for NC State, you would think there is a chance you might make the big leagues fairly soon right? That would not be the case for Tommy. After struggling to make the year after year climb through the minor leagues, Tommy was mostly relegated to the obligatory call up in September with the Cleveland Indians from 1973 through the 1976 seasons. With the 29th out of 30 selection of the expansion draft, the Seattle Mariners selected Tommy to help play in the outfield for the new team. During the first three months of the season, Tommy got some time in right and left. Then is was back down to the minors only to see three more game in September of that 1977 season.
Tommy would be let go by the Mariners organization after that first season, and tried to catch on with both the Angels and Orioles farm systems. Mr. Smith tried to move into the infield working at both 1st and 3rd base. When playing the corners didn't work out, Tommy even started trying to take a turn on the mound as a pitcher in 1981 with the class A Miami O's, and the AA Charlotte O's. During that time, Tommy did see the mound for 48 appearances. After shutting it down in 1981, Tommy moved back home to North Carolina, and in 1984 he would start giving private lessons to young players and started doing baseball camps. He decided to make it a business and for the last 29 years, he has been the head instructor at Diamond Stars Baseball in Raleigh, NC.