John Smiley on This Is Us: Who is he?

This Is Us
This Is Us featured John Smiley during last night’s episode. Pic credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

During Tuesday’s episode of This Is Us, viewers were thrilled to learn that the writers made reference to a baseball player, John Smiley.

In the episode, Kevin wanted to go meet Smiley for an autograph signing. Smiley, who was playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was rumored to be traded to the Minnesota Twins, so Kevin wanted to go.

John Smiley was born in 1965 and attended Perkiomen Valley High School in Graterford, Pennsylvania before entering professional baseball. He was a pitcher and throughout his 11-year-old career, he played for Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.

Even though he started as a relief pitcher, it only took him one year to become one of the starting pitcher in Pittsburgh.

Throughout his career, John Smiley was an All-Star twice, first with Pittsburgh in 1991 and then with Cincinnati in 1995. His career would come to an end after an injury in 1997, where he broke his left humerus while warming up.

Bystanders allegedly heard the bone crack. He was 32 when his career in baseball came to an end.

Despite retiring at 32, Smiley has impressive stats. His win-loss record was 126-103, with an ERA of 3.80. In 1991, he finished third in the Cy Young Award voting when hje led the National League with 20 wins.

John Smiley is still alive. Since leaving professional baseball, it appears that Smiley opted for a more personal and private life.

Troy Doherty is the actor who played Smiley on This Is Us. He’s best known for playing Clayton Swain on the final season of The Last Ship and as Patrick in the short-lived Fullscreen series Filthy Preppy Teen$.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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