Note: This page os for Negro Leagues pitcher Gene Smith; for the replacement major league umpire in 1979, click here.
Eugene F. Smith
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.
Gene debuted with the Atlanta Black Crackers in 1938. He headed to Mexico in 1939 with the Monterrey Industrials, giving up 23 hits, 14 walks and 21 earned runs in a forgettable 12 1/3 innings. He returned to the US and went 2-1 for the New Orleans-St. Louis Stars in 1940 and 3-3 in 1941. Smith threw a no-hitter on June 29, 1941, against the New York Black Yankees. He moved to New York for 1942. In the second 1942 East-West Game, he started for the East. Smith gave up three hits, three walks and two unearned runs in three innings while fanning two. At the plate, he went 1 for 3 with a run. Jonas Gaines relieved him and Smith got the decision in a 9-2 victory by the East.
The right-hander served in the US Army from 1943-1945. He returned to the diamond with the 1946 Homestead Grays and was 5-8. He split 1947 between Homestead (1-4) and the Cleveland Buckeyes (4-1). He started games three and six of the 1947 Negro World Series against the New York Cubans. He allowed no runs in game three before Sad Sam Jones relieved him. In game six, he was roughed up in a 6-5 loss to Luis Tiant Sr. and Pat Scantlebury. He had a 3.18 RA for the Series.
In the 1947 Puerto Rican League, Smith was 10-5 with 85 strikeouts. He finished fourth in whiffs and third in wins, trailing Ford Smith and Johnny Davis. The Louisiana native remained with the Buckeyes in 1948 and split 1949 between the Buckeyes and the Chicago American Giants. He was with Chicago and Cleveland again in 1950 then wrapped up with Chicago in '51.
- The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros
- Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester
- The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley
- The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway
- Baseball in Wartime