Thursday, January 31, 2019

#48 Hal Smith

Hal Smith  Pittsburgh Pirates

Career: Smith signed in 1949 with the Yankees (who seemed to sign every catcher in America) and was dealt to the Orioles where he emerged as the #1 catcher in 1955 before landing in Kansas City. He went on to play for the Pirates, Colt 45s and Reds in his 10-year career. He finished with a respectable.267 average and had three double-digit home run seasons.

In 1960: Lucky Hal came over from the bottom-of-the-standings Athletics to the Pirates just in time to be a part of the World Series championship. He went from getting into about 100 games a season in KC to just 77 with the Pirates. He hit .295 as he transitioned back to being a catcher after a few seasons playing primarily at third with the Athletics. In the World Series he was 3 for 8 and had a moment to remember. He hit a three-run homer in Game Seven to put the Pirates on top (temporarily) 9-7 in the bottom of the eighth. We all know what happened in the ninth.

Off The Charts: How's this for a Baseball Reference transaction entry?

November 17, 1954: [Smith was] Traded by the New York Yankees with players to be named later, Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald, Willy Miranda, Gus Triandos and Gene Woodling to the Baltimore Orioles for players to be named later, Billy Hunter, Don Larsen and Bob Turley. The New York Yankees sent Bill Miller (December 1, 1954), Kal Segrist (December 1, 1954), Don Leppert (December 1, 1954) and Theodore Del Guercio (minors) (December 1, 1954) to the Baltimore Orioles to complete the trade. The Baltimore Orioles sent Mike Blyzka (December 1, 1954), Darrell Johnson (December 1, 1954), Jim Fridley (December 1, 1954) and Dick Kryhoski (December 1, 1954) to the New York Yankees to complete the trade.

The Card: He's wearing Athletics duds and this is likely from Yankee Stadium but there's not much to go on. The golden orange, black and white is close to Pirates' colors which is nice. The listed highlights assume we know he played for the A's in 1959. 

1 comment:

  1. In the late-1950s, there were 2 Hal Smiths playing in MLB, and both were catchers.

    This one played mostly for Kansas City and Pittsburgh, while the other one was the Cardinals' starting catcher and 3-time All-Star. "The Cardinals" Hal Smith eventually played for the Pirates also - in 1965.