Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Smiths in:
 • Maple Grove Cemetery
 • Alexandria
 • Calhoun County
 • Alabama
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Willie Smith
Birth: Feb. 11, 1939
Death: Jan. 18, 2006

Major League Baseball Player. Willie 'Wonderful Willie' Smith was one of the few natives from Anniston, Alabama, to make the major leagues. As a young man, he honed his skills, eventually developing into an excellent, multitalented ballplayer who was able play first base, outfield and pitch. Smith played for 5 teams over his 9 year career, becoming the only black player in MLB history to appear in at least 20 games as a pitcher and 20 as a fielder. Smith played in the Negro Leagues before signing with the Detroit Tigers before the 1960 season. He had a short 17 game stint with the parent club in 1963. Traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Los Angeles Angels for Julio Navarro on April 28, 1964, it was in LA that he experienced his best season as he batted .301 in 118 games in 1964. He appeared in a career high 136 games in 1965, after which, he was used in a utility role to utilize his skills. He became a valuable commodity due to his flexibility. After spending time with Cleveland, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs in June of 1968 for Lou Johnson. The next year he appeared in 103 games and batted .246, appearing in the outfield and 1st base. He finished out his career with the Cincinnati reds in 1971. Smith later worked for the City of Oxford, AL and also was an instructor at youth baseball camps. He was a highly regarded person and player who was well respected and liked by his teammates. On his death, his former teammate on the Cubs, Don Kessinger said: "I really thought the world of Willie Smith, Willie was an exceptional hitter. But he also was an exceptional teammate." (bio by: Frank Russo) 
 
Burial:
Maple Grove Cemetery
Alexandria
Calhoun County
Alabama, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Frank Russo
Record added: Jan 20, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13070061
Willie Smith
Added by: Frank Russo
 
Willie Smith
Added by: Frank Russo
 
Willie Smith
Added by: Frank Russo
 
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- MosherSt.Munger
 Added: Jan. 18, 2014

- 49boy3
 Added: Feb. 11, 2013

- 49boy3
 Added: Jan. 18, 2013
There are 58 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.1 after 34 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service