Author: Sean Miller For NJ Advance Media
Tommy Smith gets his night in Trenton, in front of nearly a 1,000 family and friends.
To say that Trenton Thunder bat boy Tommy Smith is universally loved would probably be an understatement.
Smith, who is in his fourth season with the Thunder organization, has become so much more to the team. He is always around the team at home, in and around the dugout during the game. But it is his effect on everybody he comes into contact with that is the first thing most people see.
Tuesday night, the Thunder gave out Tommy Smith bobble head figurines, but the night became so much more than that for the whole Smith family. Four hours before the contest with Reading, the parking lot behind the centerfield wall became "Tommy Town", as hundreds of family and friends set up a tailgate party to celebrate Smith.
There were family members who flew in from as far as San Diego, while some others came from much closer. Much of the Mercer County High School staff, where Tommy's mother works, was in attendance. Some came from parts of Pennsylvania bearing gifts, such as the amazing Middleswarth Potato Chips (If you get a chance to try these, they are amazing)
By the time 6 p.m. rolled around, there were close to 500 people swelling the lot, enjoying the company, and partaking in all the food and drink. There was one thing that bonded them all: their love of Tommy.
Smith himself spent most of the two-plus hours prior to the time he went into the clubhouse signing autographs and greeting almost everyone that came up to the tents. There was a small bus from Clifton, New Jersey, which saw the people walking off the bus greeted and hugged by Smith. Then, once Smith was inside the stadium, he spent another hour signing all the bobble heads for any fan that wanted his autograph.