Baseball Digest

Baseball’s Master Builder

Baseball was a college distraction of sorts for Janet Marie Smith. The diamond at Mississippi State was on the edge of campus when she studied there and so was the studio for the architecture school. When she and her colleagues needed a break from the grind of the drafting board, they’d wander over to the field to watch.

“That’s where I came to enjoy the game itself,” Smith said.

The diversion ultimately evolved into an enormous part of a celebrated career in architecture and urban planning that morphed into a baseball life, too. Smith, who currently is the Senior Vice President of Planning and Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers, helped design and renovate some of the most beloved ballparks in history in more than 30 years in the game.

With her work on Oriole Park at Camden Yards, she helped usher in the age of the old-timey ballpark that evoked the sepia-toned past but also offered up-to-date comforts. She was part of the project that put seats atop Fenway Park’s famed Green Monster and found enough space in the nooks and crannies of baseball’s oldest park to make the rest of it feel bigger, too.

Smith is currently guiding improvement and expansion projects

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