Mets 1B Dominic Smith's is happy to play in the New York spotlight and hopes to serve as a role model for kids, he said in a wide-ranging interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post.
Smith, who was called up to the big leagues earlier this month, said his parents struggled with drug addiction before he was born and it was difficult for his family to make ends meet at times. He hopes to use his own experiences to provide inspiration to others.
"Seeing my nephew who looks up to me, wants to be just like me when he grows up, and knowing that I can help him accomplish what he wants to do," Smith said. "I just want to be a good role model to him, I want to be a good role model for everybody in the inner city. I know it's a ton of kids looking up to me right now. Because not too many people where I come from make it out, so I definitely want to be an inspiration to all those kids. It's not just me playing a game wanting to do good, it's bigger than that, it's bigger than me, it's bigger than what people really think, because I am an inspiration to a lot of inner city kids."
When asked about pressure, Smith expressed his own confidence in his ability to succeed -- even in New York.
"I feel comfortable and confident in any situation. When I walk out there, I feel like I'm the best player on the field. You have to feel that way.," he said, while adding that he loves playing in under the bright lights of the city. "I love that type of pressure. That makes or breaks you as an athlete. Could you perform in the big moments? And I want to be that guy who can deliver in a big moment, that guy that you see in the highlights, help your team win a game, hit the walk off home run, make the diving catch. I want to be that guy. I want to be a superstar in this league.
Among other topics discussed, Smith also said he is planning to slim down -- a plan that did not come as a request from the Mets but one that he wants to carry out for himself and his family. He currently weighs around 244 pounds and hopes to be around the "low 230s maybe" by next year. He said he then hopes to drop down to 225 pounds.