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Thursday, 26 June 2014
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN " HILTON LEE SMITH " WAS AN AMERICAN RIGHT HANDED PITCHER IN THE NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY Hilton Lee Smith (February 27, 1907 – 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.
Born in Giddings, 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.
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 team mate 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.