Harold Smith Obituary
Harold "Hal" Raymond Smith photos Harold "Hal" Raymond Smith photos

There are 30 photos in the gallery

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Harold "Hal" Raymond Smith

June 1, 1931 - April 12, 2014
Obituary

Harold Raymond "Hal" Smith 82, residing in Fort Smith, Arkansas went to heaven April 12, 2014. Hal was born June 1, 1931 in Barling, Arkansas. He was a member of Eastside Baptist Church and he was an Air Force Veteran of the Korean Conflict. Hal Smith attended Fort Smith Public Schools, graduating from Fort Smith High School (now Northside High School) in 1949. He also attended Westark College (now University of Arkansas Fort Smith). In 1949, Hal signed a professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and was immediately assigned to their Albany, Georgia minor league team. In 1955, Hal was the top fielding catcher in...
Harold Raymond "Hal" Smith 82, residing in Fort Smith, Arkansas went to heaven April 12, 2014. Hal was born June 1, 1931 in Barling, Arkansas. He was a member of Eastside Baptist Church and he was an Air Force Veteran of the Korean Conflict. Hal Smith attended Fort Smith Public Schools, graduating from Fort Smith High School (now Northside High School) in 1949. He also attended Westark College (now University of Arkansas Fort Smith). In 1949, Hal signed a professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and was immediately assigned to their Albany, Georgia minor league team. In 1955, Hal was the top fielding catcher in the AA Texas League. From 1956 - 61, Hal was the catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Following his playing days, he served the Redbirds as coach and scout - spending over 40 years with the Cardinals organization. In 1959, he caught in 141 games, an iron man feat never equaled by such Hall of Fame catchers as Bill Dickey and Mickey Cochrane. His career fielding average of .989 is the same as catching great Yogi Berra. In 1957 - 58, Hal was selected to the National League All-Star Team. In the 1959 All-Star game played at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Hal played on the same team with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks and Cardinals teammate Stan Musial. Hal's big league career also included coaching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers before returning to the Cardinals and finishing out his final working years scouting. Hal's career began with the Fort Smith Boys Club where he played his first organized baseball. That early baseball foundation led all the way to the Major Leagues. Funeral service will be 9:30 AM Wednesday at East Side Baptist Church with Rev. Carl Cheshier officiating. Private family burial will be under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Carolyn Elizabeth Smith of 64 years, his children; Sandi & Mike Woods, Sharon & Lee Gilbert and Dennis & Brenda Smith, his grandchildren; Courtney & Kenny Morris, Carrie & Daniel McGill, Jency & Russell Steven, Kaedy & Kevin Stallings, Chris & Frieda Smith, and Josh & Jennifer Smith, his great grandchildren; Joey Woods, Alyssa, Kenny Jr. & Maddie Wray Morris, Kylie & Daniel McGill, Bradley & Kelsee Barnard & Hagan Jones, Halle, Garrett & Carson Stallings, Malachi & Kaylee Smith, his great-great grandchild; Braxton Barnard, three sisters Virginia Wray Floyd, Nancy Weaver and husband Bill and Becky Crawford and husband Allen, two brothers Herbert Smith and wife Freta and Tommy Smith and wife Vicki and their families. Hal is preceded in death by his parents, Ronald & Katie Wray Smith and two brothers two brothers Billy Wray, Ronald Jr. & his wife, Virginia Smith. Pallbearers will be Russell Steven, Lee Gilbert, Bradley Barnard, Hagan Jones, Christopher Smith, Joshua Smith and Kevin Stallings. Honorary pallbearers will be Kelsee Barnard and Leland Gant. The family will visit with friends Tuesday evening from 5:30 PM-7:30 PM at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel. In lieu of sending flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club, 4905 North O Street, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904. To place online tributes visit www.edwardsfuneralhome.com.

Share your memories or express your condolences by signing the Guest Book below or click here for entry suggestions.

"Major League Baseball has lost a true gentleman. I am lucky to have his 1956 baseball card and always remember Hal's double on July 19, 1958 while I..." Mike Dugan (Kenmore, NY)

Submit Guest Book Entry
This Guest Book has 18 entries. View Complete Guest Book

Personalize Your Tribute

Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.

 
Start Planning Today

Make Your Plan Today

Preplanning your funeral or cemetery arrangements gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Don't wait. Make your plan online today.
Plan Online Now

Audio Condolences

Use your phone to dial in a free personalized message. Click here to make an entry or listen to recordings from friends and family.