Clay Smith (baseball)

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Clay Jamieson Smith (September 11, 1914 – March 5, 2002) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for two seasons. He played for the Cleveland Indians for four games in 1938 and the Detroit Tigers for 14 games in 1940. He pitched in the 1940 World Series, posting an ERA of 2.25 in the Series.

Smith was born and died in Cambridge, KS, in southeastern Kansas. He is one of three major leaguers (through 2009) out of Southwestern College in Winfield, KS, in the same county as Cambridge. He was on the baseball, wrestling and track teams in college.

He began pitching in the minors with Fargo-Moorhead in 1935-36, going 15-5 in 1936. After posting a 16–13 record in 1937 for Springfield, he went 8–14 in 1938 for Wilkes-Barre with a decent 3.35 ERA. The pitcher at Wilkes-Barre with the best ERA was Charley Suche, who had also been at Fargo-Moorhead in 1935.

Clay made his major league debut on September 13, 1938, and pitched four games for the 1938 Cleveland Indians that year. He made his debut on September 18, in his only major league appearance.

Smith spent 1939 at Buffalo, where he went 13–11. A teammate was the 21-year-old Lou Boudreau, who hit .331. Smith led the team in victories.

The Detroit Tigers purchased Smith and sent him to Beaumont for the 1940 season, where he posted a 12–5 record. He also appeared in 14 games with the 1940 Tigers, and then pitched four innings in Game 4 of the 1940 World Series.

During 1941-43 he was with St. Paul each season.

After baseball he was a rancher and mail carrier. He had a farm north of Cambridge and retired from farming in 1985.

He is in the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame.

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