Rain can't stop former Cubs great Lee Smith from enjoying visit to The Cove

Rain washed Saturday's Silver Hawks game but fans still had a good reason to show up at The Cove.

Former Cubs great Lee Smith, who ranks 3rd on Major League Baseball's All-Time saves list, was the special guest--signing autographs for more than 90 minutes.

"It was mostly only all Cubs fans," Smith says. "You usually see some Cardinals or Red Sox, but mostly Cubs. It was really unbelievable."

The autograph signing occurred inside the Hawks Nest Team Store in left field. The line stretched outside the store and into the rain where fans stood anxiously in line to meet one of the best closers of all-time.

"It was strange to hear home many guys tell me they were in the 3rd grade when the 84 team played," Smith says with a big laugh. "People do remember you and guys talk about their grandmother--and you were their favorite player. It's great that they still remember you."

Smith began his career with the Cubs, playing at Wrigley Field from 1980-1987. He says his favorite Cubs memory was becoming the team's closer and realizing a dream.

"Just to get the big leagues and go out and see your name in the light," Smith says. "I came from a town that had 26 kids in its graduating class and to actually go to Chicago--I get there every chance I possibly can. It's an awesome feeling."

Smith was scheduled to throw out the first pitch Saturday night but the weather never gave him the chance. But that didn't dampen his opinion of the Cove.

"An awesome Stadium," Smith said. "This place is what 25-26 years and to see what they've done to it, is really nice."

The Silver Hawks will play a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 2pm.

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