Year Inducted: 1975
With an outstanding playing career spanning 30 years, Jim Smith is certainly a worthy candidate for induction into the Sports Hall of Fame in the category of baseball.
Jim was born in Parham Ontario, north of Kingston and, believe it or not, started playing senior ball with that team in the Frontenac County League at the age of 12.
In 1921, he moved to Smith Falls, noted as a hothead of baseball, where he played as a pitcher and infielder for 3 years in the Ottawa Valley Senior League.
The next move was to Webster, New York; outside of Rochester, in 1924, a semi-professional team in the Monroe County League. His exceptional talents as an all-round player, but particularly pitching were quickly recognized. He was offered and accepted employment with Stromberg-Carlson of radio fame to play for that company in the Rochester City League, while still continuing to play for Webster.
For two years, he was the leading pitcher, and although pitchers are traditionally poor hitters, he led the league in batting average over a 3 year period.
Several players from these two leagues went on to play in the International and Major Leagues.
Jim was invited to Spring training by the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League but, having married, he considered security more important so he declined to remain with Stromberg-Carlson.
However, with the 1929 crash and the beginning of the Great Depression, the company was forced to close its doors and Jim was out of work. He came to Cornwall in 1931 and obtained employment with Courtaulds and continued his playing career with Moose lodge in the City League and later with Cornwall in the strong St. Lawrence Valley League, a league which evetually became semi-professional.
With the outbreak of war, Jim joined the Cornwall Basic Training Centre Team, and finished his long and outstanding baseball career in 1945.