Inducted in 2007
Arthur Smith
Born on February 21, 1929 in Tarrytown, New York
Education:
Portland High School, 1948
Murray State University, 1957
Masters, 1959

Give Artie Smith a new middle name and, with certainty, it'll be "Sports." That's because his life - from times as a pre-teen in the early 1940s hanging out at what is now Portland's Hadlock Field and Fitzpatrick Stadium - was on a fast, parallel track with all shades of competition. Artie is no bystander.

He arrived at the fields early to warm up Twilight League regulars Jabber Joyce and Merv Kilgore, then shag balls during batting practice or chase down loose balls during Portland High football practice. Once the games started, Artie positioned himself on the railroad tracks beyond the outfield fence gathering in home run balls, "The ones I kept."

Ask where he found his drive to play - and win - and the answer may be life with his father, Louis, who enjoyed a passion for sports and was elected to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame along with his son; older brothers also passed down a knowledge and appreciation of the fundamentals of sports. Whatever Artie inherited or learned, it worked, because Artie Smith, literally and figuratively, covers all the bases.

He played, coached, officiated, and administered baseball, football, basketball, tennis, and track. Later he added golf, fishing, and hunting. And he approached each with a zeal for the game that translates into an impressive list of personal and team victories. But Artie Smith is more than what he contributes to won-lost columns. Post-game reports fail to reflect many gems he shared and passed on to others. Says boyhood pal Dick Jackson, now of Glendon, California, "I am grateful to Art for helping me see the value of a college education and assisting me as I enrolled at Murray State."

Mr. Jackson adds, "He was detail-oriented ... a players' player, always helping others with techniques and strategies." That inner calling to teach others and to excel through extra practice hours continues today.

There's a story by a golfing pal who joined Artie at his Florida club for what was billed as a leisurely round. At mid-morning Artie took his guest to the practice tee, and after an hour moved to the practice bunker for more drills. Time at the practice green closed the morning with Artie's guest asking himself "When do we play golf?" Artie's answer: "After lunch."

That was typical Art Smith and helps explain why this 78-year-old carries a 7 to 9 handicap. But don't expect him to comment on your game. He's certainly not an irritating type who self-qualifies to pick your game apart while struggling to break 100. Artie comes from a school that teaches by example, or he quietly and efficiently will show you the proper method...but only if you ask.

And if you're led to believe Art Smith's life is only about sports, ask fellow South Portland Lions Club members and they'll tell you about a selfless, 43-year member who has give uncounted volunteer hours.

Art Smith is ... well, he's the total package.

A few highlights: 1943-1944 first base, outfield, pitcher for undefeated Lincoln Junior High; 1944-1948 All-State quarterback Portland High School, basketball center, and All-Telegram pitcher-first baseman; 1948 signed professional baseball contract with the New York Giants and assigned to Class D Oshkosh, Wisconsin; 1953 received football scholarship to Murray State, Kentucky; 1956 won Ohio Valley Conference tennis doubles championship; 1986 inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.

Art and his wife, Barbara, have three children - Deborah, Douglas, and Daniel - and seven grandchildren.

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Maine Sports Hall of Fame
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Cumberland, ME 04021

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Our Mission

The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.

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