Wednesday, January 18, 2006

`Wonderful Willie' Smith, Former Negro Leaguer, dies at 66

The Associated Press ANNISTON, Ala | Willie Smith, first a pitcher and then a hitter in nine years in the major leagues, has died of an apparent heart attack. He was 66.

Smith, who died Monday, began in the Negro Leagues and played for five clubs in the majors, beginning as a left-handed pitcher in 1963 with the Detroit Tigers. Nicknamed "Wonderful Willie," he also pitched in 1964 for the California Angels, where he went 1-4 with a 2.84 ERA; that same year the Angels put him in the field and he batted .301 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs.

An outfielder and first baseman, Smith also played for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. . . . [more]

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