Dr. Joseph Smith operated with precision on the baseball held.
The third baseman from Brunswick was a sure-handed fielder and a hitter capable of .400 seasons.
He was captain of the Bowdoin College baseball team in 1923, after starring in baseball and football at Brunswick High School. He chose medicine instead of playing in the minor leagues for the Boston Braves.
The Bath doctor had an athletic scholarship fund established in his honor at Bowdoin in 1972, shortly after his death in recognition of his outstanding baseball and football careers there. In fact, Smith received All-State honors in both sports during his collegiate days.
A splendid leadoff hitter, with an affinity for getting on base, Smith was described by the late Bowdoin baseball coach Ben Hauser as “if not the best ballplayer, at least the best hitter I ever coached.” His hitting prowess carried over to his semi-pro baseball career.
He hit more than .400 in two different seasons of semi-pro ball. His career batting average at Bowdoin was near the .400 mark too.
The former president of the Maine PTA also coached and taught at Brunswick High School, after completing Tufts Medical School.
In 1932 he was asked by Bowdoin’s Jack McGee to be an Olympic physician but declined.
The star quarterback/halfback played on Bowdoin’s undefeated football team in 1921, making the All-Maine team as a quarterback that season. Smith, an exceptional athlete, was an exceptional physician too. He even earned much of his medical college tuition by playing on various semi-pro baseball teams at Norway, Lewiston and Auburn and Oxford.
Who said medical school and athletics don’t mix?