Hal Smith was born on Sunday, December 7, 1930, in West Frankfort, Illinois. Smith was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 11, 1955, with the Baltimore Orioles. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Hal Smith baseball stats page.
"The Cincinnati Reds signed Hal Smith, who can play first and third base, catch, play a guitar, a gas stove or a paint brush. Smith is a gift to more than baseball writes. His work is available to review and criticism by cooking and music writers. He has a winter act that belongs to show critics. Smith once made $2,500 a month for four months, beating a guitar and singing in night clubs. He's an amateur cook who is ready to publish a recipe book. He used to work in Detroit as a painter." - Sports Writer Pat Harmon in The Guam Daily News (01/20/1964, Versatile and Peripatetic, Hal Smith Is Now With Reds , Page 10)
Hal Smith Autograph on a 1961 Topps Baseball Card (#242 | Checklist )
Hal Smith Pitching Stats
|-||-||Did Not Pitch||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Hal Smith Hitting Stats
Hal Smith Fielding Stats
|1962 Colt .45s||1B||2||1||30||10||5.0||10||10||0||0||1||n/a||n/a||n/a||1.000||9.00|
|1962 Colt .45s||3B||6||2||75||8||1.3||7||0||7||1||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||.875||2.52|
|1962 Colt .45s||C||92||86||2,316||644||7.0||635||570||65||9||9||6||59||24||.986||7.40|
|1963 Colt .45s||C||11||10||272||68||6.2||67||65||2||1||1||2||3||2||.985||6.65|
Hal Smith Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
|1962 Colt .45s||0||0||.000||15||0||n/a||28.8||6.3||9.9||-||-||-|
|1963 Colt .45s||0||0||.000||20||0||n/a||0.0||3.9||29.0||-||-||-|
Hal Smith Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1955 Baltimore Orioles||22||$10,000.00||-||-|
|1956 Baltimore Orioles||22||$12,500.00||-||-|
|1956 Kansas City Athletics||9||" "||-||-|
|1957 Kansas City Athletics||9||$14,500.00||-||-|
|1958 Kansas City Athletics||9||$16,500.00||-||-|
|1959 Kansas City Athletics||9||$16,500.00||-||-|
|1960 Pittsburgh Pirates||5||$17,500.00||-||Stats|
|1961 Pittsburgh Pirates||5||$25,000.00||-||-|
|1962 Houston Colt .45s||8 , 9||$26,000.00||-||-|
|1963 Houston Colt .45s||9||$20,000.00||-||-|
|1964 Cincinnati Reds||9||$15,000.00||-||-|
|Hal Smith Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Harold Wayne Smith was a
Major League Baseball player
Kansas City Athletics
Houston Colt .45s
(1964). Hal, his nickname, was a talented utility player, often platooning at catcher and third base over his ten year career.
Hal Smith Rookie Card | 1956 Topps Baseball Card (#62 | Checklist )
Baseball Almanac Collection
Hal Smith hit fifty-eight home runs in his career, off fifty different pitchers, in eighteen different ballparks. He never hit a lead-off home run, an inside the park home run, or a walk off home run, but during the 1960 World Series , he hit one that Dick Groat called "the most forgotten home run in baseball history."
A Hanging, Harry High School Slider
The next batter was Hal Smith, who had gone in to catch when ( Smoky ) Burgess was removed for a pinch runner. Smith was a former Yankee farmhand who had played five years in the American League with the Athletics and Orioles . Traded to Pittsburgh in 1960, he formed a hard-hitting platoon with Burgess . Burgess batted .294 and Smith .295, and the two receivers combined for 18 home runs and 84 runs batted in. The Yankees knew Smith better than they knew most of the Pirate batters. Some had played with or against him in the minors and nearly all of them had played against him in the American League. "Hal Smith was a high fastball hitter," said ( Ryne ) Duren , who was sill smoldering in the Yankee bullpen. "You could jam Smith," said Terry, "and ( Jim ) Coates had a real good fastball."
On the mound, Coates , though shaken by his fielding blunder, was confident he could get Smith out. "Smith could never hit me," he called, "not even in the minors." Coates ' first pitch was a fastball across the letters for a strike. "Oh, God," thought Duren , "Don't throw him another one up there." Coates , however, kept challenging Smith, who took a mighty rip at another, and barely checked his swing on the next. The fifth pitch, according to Coates , was a hanging slider, not inside where he wanted it, but right out over the plate. Smith hit a line drive to left field. "I knew he hit it awfully hard," said ( Joe ) DeMaestri , "but I didn't think it was high enough to get out. It took off like a two iron shot and went over the fence." Coates threw his glove ten feet in the air.
Smith's dramatic home run gave the Pirates a 9-7 lead, as pandemonium broke loose at Forbes Field . Chuck Thompson told his partner Quinlan, "We have seen and shared one of baseball's all-time great moments. This is one of the most dramatic home runs of all time."
Source: The Yankees in the Early 1960s . William J. Ryczek. McFarland anc Company. September 6, 2007. Page 40.
Why did Groat refer to it as "the most forgotten home run in baseball history"? The Bronx Bombers battled back to tie the game in the top of the ninth, which set the stage for Bill Mazeroski to hit his historic - and well-remembered - series-winning walk-off home run. On Baseball Almanac, we do not forget:
Did you know that when Hal Smith took the field on April 10, 1962 , starting behind the plate in an Opening Day game for the Houston Colt .45s (who changed their name to the Houston Astros in 1965), he became their first catcher in franchise history ?