Hal Smith

Born to Ronald and Katherine Smith in Barling, Arkansas on June 1, 1931 and died on April 12, 2014.  Attended elementary and Jr. High school in Barling. Attended high school in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Played basketball in Fort Smith in high school an also at the Fort Smith Boys Club. Started playing baseball in Fort Smith for the American Legion in 1946  thru 1948. Signed a professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the 1948 American Legion season when he was 17 years old. Started his first professional year in 1949. Went to spring training with the Houston Buffs which was the “AA” minor league team for the Cardinals. After about a month there they sent him to Albany, GA. where he spent his first year. Albany was one of the Cardinals “D” clubs. The following year he was sent to Hamilton, Ontario which was also a “D” club.

Carolyn Smith

At the beginning of the 1950 season he was married to Carolyn Treece and she was able to go with him during that season in Hamilton... In Jan. 1951 he went into the Air Force. That was during the Korean War. Hal was able to obtain a hardship discharge in June of that year and returned to Fort Smith where we had his first daughter Sandra Karen... He tried to go back and finish out the summer playing ball but it was pretty late in the year so he just played semi-pro ball in Fort Smith. Then in 1952 Hal almost quit because he wasn't making enough money to support his family and worked for a while for the Dixie Cup Company in Fort Smith. With the help of the scout who signed him, Fred Hawn, Hal was able to get a raise and decided to go back and play. He was sent to Allentown, PA which was a class”B” club and was later promoted to Omaha which was class”A” and finished the season there. Then in 1953 went back to Omaha and stayed the full season. In 1954 he was with Houston again and stayed there for the full year. Hal had his second daughter Sharon Kay. In 1955 Hal was sent back to Houston after being in spring training with the Cardinals and had one of his better years... Because of that Hal was invited to play winter ball in Mexico for Guadalahara. He did well there and it helped him stay with the big club in 1956 which was his first full year in the major leagues. In the winter of 1956 Hal was invited to play in Havana, Cuba.

Smith Family

He spent the next 5 years in St. Louis where he and Carolyn had their only son, Dennis Alan in 1957. In 1961 he had to quit playing because of a heart condition. Hal was sure if that same situation would have happened now they wouldn’t have stopped him completely. But he was able to stay in baseball as a coach and instructor first for the Cardinals. Then in 1965 went to the Pittsburgh Pirates as one of Harry Walkers coaches. He stayed there for three years and then went to the Cincinnati Reds as a coach for Dave Bristol.  Hal stayed there for two years. When Dave was fired by Cincinnati so were all the caoches so Hal was fortunate to be asked to come back to the Cardinals by General Manager Bing Devine to be a scout in the Texas and Louisiana area. He did that from 1970 thru 1976 and was then asked to come to the Milwaukee Brewers to be a coach for Alex Grammas. Stayed there for two years and Alex was fired along with all the coaches but Hal was fortunate again to be asked to come back to the Cardinals by jim Bayens who was the scouting director and scout the midwest for the Cardinals. Of course Hal accepted and was thrilled to be back with the Cardinals. He scouted the midwest for the first year in 1978 and was then given his old territory back in 1979 and that’s where Hal stayed the rest of his time in baseball. He retired in 1997 and moved back to Fort Smith in 1999. Since that time he has been inducted into the Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame, the Texas Scouts Association Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Hal made the Texas League All-Star team in 1955. He was voted to the National League All-Star team in 1957 and again in 1959. His one big scouting accomplishments was getting Willie McGee for the Cardinals. He was in the Yankee organization playing in Nashville, TN and one of his assignments in 1981 was to scout Nashville. The Yankees were interested in a pitcher we had and sent a list of players from the Nashville roster to General Manager Joe McDonald and Willies name was on that list.  When joe asked which one he would take, Hal took Willie. He turned out to be a big favorite in St Louis...

© Copyright 2017, SmithTrax Recording Studio. All Rights Reserved.
Site designed and maintained by SmithTrax Recording Studio