Remembering Former Yankees Minor League Catcher Hal Smith (1930-2020)

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Remembering Former Yankees Minor League Catcher Hal Smith (1930-2020)

Postby FW57cLIPPER51 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:47 pm

Remembering Former Yankees Minor League Catcher Hal Smith

January 9, 2020- Former Yankees Minor League and MLB Catcher Hal Smith passed away. (1930-2020)
In 1949, the Yankees signed Catcher Hal Smith as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He was blocked at starting catcher’s spot the presence by Yogi Berra at the MLB Level and other Yankees Catching Minor League prospects. Hal would play in the Yankees Minor League system from 1949 to 1953, reaching the AA Birmingham Barons in the Southern Association. After the 1954 MLB season, Hal was involved in a huge player trade made, whereby 17 players changed teams between the Yankees and the Orioles. He came up with to the MLBs 1st time in 1955 with the Orioles in their 2nd season in Baltimore. Smith immediately became a regular player as a Rookie, appearing in 135 games, while hitting .271 with 4 HRs and 52 RBIs on a team that hit .240 for the regular AL season. In August 1956, he was traded by the Orioles to the Kansas City A’s. In 1957, Hal had one of his best MLB seasons with the bat, hitting .303 and slugging .483, 101 points above the AL slugging average. The 1958-1959 MLB seasons, Smith played a lot of 3B, as the A's tried to keep his bat in the regular lineup, when he wasn't catching. After the 1959 AL season, he was traded to the Pirates for 2 players in time to be part of their 1960 World Series team. During the regular season, he slugged .508. During the 1960 World Series, he hit a 3-run HR in Game 7 that keyed a Pirates comeback in the 8th inning. Smith's HR put the Pirates ahead by the score of 9-7 before the Yankees tied the game with 2 runs in the 9th inning. Bill Mazeroski’s memorable HR in the bottom of the 9th inning won the 1960 World Series for the Pirates. Hal played in 3 games of the 1960 World Series, hitting .375 with 1 HR and 3 RBIs. In 1962, Hal became one of the original members of the expansion Houston Colt .45s, being selected from the Pirates in the 1961 NL Expansion Team Player Draft (Colt 45s. and the Mets). In 1964, he finished out his MLB playing career with the Reds. Overall, he hit .267 with 58 HRs and 323 RBIs in 879 games
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