2010 Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame: Michele Smith

By Jenni Carlson Modified: January 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm •  Published: January 14, 2010
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Let's start with the hair.

Michele Smith is celebrated for her softball exploits - a pair of Olympic gold medals and nearly two decades playing professionally in Japan primary among them - but the former Oklahoma State standout is known by her hair.

Curly. Light brown. Shoulder-length.

And always the same.

"It's my signature," Smith admitted a couple years ago during a break between games at the Women's College World Series where she's been a regular part of ESPN's broadcast team.

She tried to play in a ponytail but could never get used to having her hair that way.

"It was constantly a distraction, so I just learned to pitch with it down and it became my trademark."

The hair was there when the New Jersey native started pitching as a sophomore in high school. It was there when an OSU coach saw her raw potential and gave her a scholarship. It was there when she became a two-time All-American and led the Cowgirls to the program's first world series appearance.

The hair was there, too, when Smith was part of the American team that won the first Olympic gold medal in softball and when she returned four years later with Team USA to win gold again.

And of course, the hair will be there when Smith becomes the first softball player inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

Smith has played her sport at the highest level for more than three decades. She has become an ambassador for the softball not only in the United State but also around the world. Her credentials for entrance into the hall are unquestionable.

So, too, is the way she will look on her hall of fame plaque.



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