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Hilton Smith
Pitcher
Born: February 27, 1907(1907-02-27)
Sour Lake, Texas
Died: November 18, 1983 (aged 76)
Kansas City, Missouri
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Professional debut
Negro league baseball: 1932Monroe Monarchs
Last professional appearance
1948Kansas City Monarchs
statistics
Win-Loss     71–31
Run average     3.37
Earned run average     1.68
Teams
Negro leagues
Other
  • Bismarck (1935–36)
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg Baseball Hall of FameEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Inducted     2001
Election Method     Veterans Committee

Hilton Lee Smith (February 27, 1907[1] - November 18, 1983) was an American right-handed pitcher in Negro league baseball. In 2001 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Contents

Biography

Born in Sour Lake, Texas, Smith began his professional career in black baseball's equivalent of the minor leagues with the Austin Black Senators in Austin, Texas. His big league debut was with the Monroe Monarchs of Monroe, Louisiana in 1932.

From 1935 to 1936, Smith pitched for the Bismarck semi-professional team organized by Neil Churchill. In 1935 his teammates included Satchel Paige, Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe, Quincy Trouppe, Barney Morris, and Chet Brewer. In August, the team won the national semipro championship in Wichita, Kansas. In 1936, Paige, Radcliffe, and Brewer departed and Smith became the ace of the Bismarck team. They returned to the national championship, where Smith won four games, but Bismarck failed to repeat as champions.[2]

In late 1936 Smith signed with the Kansas City Monarchs. From 1937 until his retirement in 1948 Smith was a star pitcher on the Monarchs. He possessed an outstanding curveball, but he was overshadowed by his more flamboyant teammate Satchel Paige. Often Paige would pitch the first three innings of a game, leaving Smith to pitch the remaining six. Also, unlike Paige, Smith was a very good hitter.

After retiring from baseball, Hilton Smith worked as a schoolteacher and later as a steel plant foreman. He also scouted for the Chicago Cubs. Smith had a quiet, reserved temperament, but in his later years he stood up for Negro Leaguers in their struggle to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He died at age 76 in Kansas City, Missouri. It was not until 2001 that he became a member of the Hall.

Career statistics

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Negro leagues

The first official statistics for the Negro leagues were compiled as part of a statistical study sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and supervised by Larry Lester and Dick Clark, in which a research team collected statistics from thousands of boxscores of league-sanctioned games.[3] The first results from this study were the statistics for Negro league Hall of Famers elected prior to 2006, which were published in Shades of Glory by Lawrence D. Hogan. These statistics include the official Negro league statistics for Hilton Smith:

Year Team League W L Pct G CG IP H BB SO RA ERA
1932 Monroe NSL 0 0 2 0 14.3 12 0 4 5.02 5.02
1937 Kansas City NAL 11 3 .786 19 6 109.0 84 15 74 2.56 1.90
1938 Kansas City NAL 8 3 .727 17 5 87.7 71 7 55 2.46 1.95
1939 Kansas City NAL 7 4 .636 19 7 106.0 79 14 79 3.14 1.87
1940 Kansas City NAL 4 4 .500 12 4 53.0 51 9 43 5.26 2.89
1941 Kansas City NAL 11 1 .917 15 5 78.3 49 5 38 2.30 0.92
1942 Kansas City NAL 7 3 .700 12 4 76.3 74 18 45 4.72 2.71
1943 Kansas City NAL 3 1 .750 8 3 46.0 34 1 15 2.74 2.15
1944 Kansas City NAL 3 3 .500 8 2 37.3 32 0 12 4.34 0.24
1945 Kansas City NAL 2 4 .333 7 6 50.7 51 5 25 4.44 0.89
1946 Kansas City NAL 8 2 .800 15 6 84.3 64 13 53 2.24 0.43
1947 Kansas City NAL 5 2 .714 7 5 49.0 57 5 17 4.78 2.02
1948 Kansas City NAL 2 1 .667 5 0 20.3 16 4 10 3.98 0.00
Total 13 seasons 71 31 .696 146 53 812.3 674 96 470 3.37 1.68

Source:[4]

Notes

  1. ^ During his lifetime, Smith claimed that his birthdate was 1912, which is the date shown in several references such as Riley, p. 723. Nearly 20 years after his death, however, historian Larry Lester discovered information and confirmed that his actual birthdate was February 27, 1907; see Thornley, p. 136.
  2. ^ McNary, Kyle P. (2001). "North Dakota Integrated Baseball History". Pitch Black Baseball. http://www.pitchblackbaseball.com/northdakotabaseball.html. Retrieved November 22, 2009.  
  3. ^ Hogan, pp. 380–81.
  4. ^ Hogan, pp. 408–09.

References

  • Clark, Dick; Lester, Larry (1994), The Negro Leagues Book, Cleveland, Ohio: Society for American Baseball Research  
  • Hogan, Lawrence D. (2006), Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball, Washington, DC: National Geographic, ISBN 079225306X  
  • Riley, James A. (1994), The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf, ISBN 0786709596  
  • Thornley, Stew (2006), Baseball in Minnesota: The Definitive History, St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, ISBN 087351551X  

External links


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