Smith, Al - Fuzzy
AL ‘FUZZY’ SMITH
Al Smith started his baseball career in the Negro Leagues in 1947, joined the Cleveland Indians in 1949, and was traded along with Hall of Famer, Early Wynn to the Chicago White Sox for Minnie Minoso and Fred Hatfield in 1957.
Although a very unpopular trade with Sox fans at the time, (Minnie Minoso was "their guy") in two short years the White Sox won the American League pennant, its' first in 40 years. The team posted a 94-60, .610 pct, but batted only .250. The 1959 White Sox' 3.29 ERA was the best in baseball, and the club's .330 on-base-pct was one of the highest. The team relied on getting on base, speed on the base paths, great defense, and were called, "the Go-Go White Sox".
Along with his' outstanding defense in left-field, Al Smith was the team's stabilizing, quiet leader of the clubhouse and was the 'go-to-guy' on and off the field. He racked up numerous game winning hits although batting only .237 for the year. In recalling - it seemed like every one of his 16 Ds, 4 Ts and 17 Hrs were delivered in late inning, clutch situations during 1959. Al Lopez, the Sox' manager, said, "Acquiring Al Smith and Early Wynn in '57 was the key to winning the pennant in '59."
"Everything is satisfying now, it's a great feeling to look up and see what a team effort can do," Smith said after the team clinched the pennant. "These are great times. Hopefully we can keep it up and win the World Series."
After he retired from active playing, Al Smith became a supervisor of parks in Chicago.
Al Smith's career numbers: .272 BA, 1517 Games, 1458 hits, 258 Ds, 46 Ts, 164 Hrs, scored 843 Runs, with 676 RBIs.