In Memory of Hal Smith

Former Colt .45s catcher Hal Smith passes away at age 89
Matt Young
Houston Chronicle
January 11, 2020

(c) Houston Astros

Hal Smith, who was the starting catcher for the Colt .45s in the first Major League Baseball game in Houston, died at the age of 89 on Thursday in Columbus.

Smith, who grew up in Illinois, retired in Columbus, TX after 10 seasons in the big leagues.

Smith won a World Series with the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, hitting a three-run home run in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the World Series against the Yankees, and was taken by the Colt 45s in the 1961 expansion draft.

Smith was Houston's starting catcher for much of the 1962 season, hitting .235 with 12 home runs. He was primarily the team's backup in 1963 before finishing his career with the Reds in 1964.

In 10 big leagues seasons that included time with the Orioles, Athletics, Pirates, Colt .45s and Reds, Smith batted .267 with 58 career home runs. His best season was in 1957 when he hit .303 with 13 home runs with the Kansas City Athletics. He hit .295 with 11 home runs in the Pirates' World Series championship season.

Smith is survived by his wife Ann, his daughter Debbie Perkins and her husband Ralph, son Dan Smith and his wife Lisa, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Smith's memorial service is at 11 a.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Columbus.

Harold W. "Hal" Smith
Henneke Funeral Home
January 9, 2020

Harold Wayne "Hal" Smith, age 89 passed away in Columbus, Texas on January 9, 2020. He born in West Frankfort, Illinois on December 7, 1930 to Earl G. and Ruth Williams Smith.

Hal was an all-state football quarterback in high for two years and was offered 33 college football scholarships. His true love was baseball and he went on to play ten years in the Major League. Hal began his career just out of high school in 1949.

Hal played for the Baltimore Orioles in 1955, Kansas City Athletics from 1956-1959, Pittsburg Pirates in 1960, the Pittsburg Pirates World Champions in 1961, Houston Colt 45's from 1962-1963, Cincinnati Reds in 1964 and retired in 1965.

He is survived by his beloved wife Ann; his daughter Debbie Perkins and her husband Ralph; son Dan Smith and his wife Lisa; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; one sister Joyce Flannery; two step-sons, DeGraaf Adams and Will Adams.

Hal was preceded in death by his parents, Earl G. Smith and Ruth Williams Smith, son Mike Smith and step-grandson Kirby Adams.

Hal was a member of the First Baptist Church of Columbus and the Columbus Golf Course.

The highlight of Hal's career was in the 1960 World Series with the Pittsburg Pirates against the New York Yankees. Hal hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to put the Pirates ahead to help win the title.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 11:00 AM at the First Baptist Church with Pastor Victor Morrison officiating. Visitation will be Monday, January 13, 2020 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Henneke Funeral Home.

Serving as pallbearers are grandsons Scott Perkins, Michael Smith, Samuel Smith, nephews Christopher Smith, Randy Smith and Bryan Smith.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 367, Columbus, Texas 78934.