Little League® International mourns the passing of Charlie Smith, one of the original members of the first Little League Baseball® team in 1939. Mr. Smith was 91.
A native of Williamsport, Pa., Mr. Smith was among the group of original Little Leaguers® honored during Little League’s 75th anniversary celebration in the summer of 2014.
Mr. Smith’s legacy will forever remain etched in history thanks to an autographed baseball commemorating his hitting prowess in the first year of the league’s existence was shared with the World of Little League® Museum.
According to the statistics listed on the ball by Little League’s founder, Carl Stotz, Mr. Smith was at-bat 14 times in the five games that the Lundy Lumber team, managed by George Bebble, played during the playoffs. His batting average was .571 in championship play. During the regular season, Mr. Smith played in 13 games and was up to bat 38 times, hitting .317.
A graduate of Williamsport High School in 1944, Mr. Smith joined the Army at the age of 18 and served in the 99th Division of the 393rd Infantry. He received the Purple Heart for wounds received while in Germany. He went on to graduate from Lehigh University in 1950 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Mr. Smith is survived by his children, Steven, Tom, and Arlene; sister, Mary Ann; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Edna.