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Major Leaguer named COTR grand marshal

Christmas on the River chairman Kirk Brooker announced yesterday that Major League Baseball player Jason Smith will be the grand marshal for the 2008 Christmas on the River day parade.

Smith has played for seven teams since joining the Major Leagues in 2001, originally signing with the Chicago Cubs. He has also played for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2002-03), Detroit Tigers (2004-05), Colorado Rockies (2006), Arizona Diamondbacks (2007), Kansas City Royals (2007, 2008) and Toronto Blue Jays (2007). Smith has played in every infield position in his career, predominantly at second base.

Born in Meridian, Miss., Smith graduated from Demopolis High School in 1995, having attended Demopolis City Schools since entering the fourth grade. He is the son of James and Terry Smith of Coatopa.

“It feels good,” Smith said of the honor. “I’ve never done anything like this before. I was shocked, actually. My mom told me that they had mentioned my name at the meetings, and one of the people there asked her to ask me if I would be interested. Dr. Kean mentioned me to the committee, and he told them that I would be interested and honored.”