Smith, Louis C. (1990)
At the age of 89, Charles Louis Smith May be the oldest person ever inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. This honor caps a lifetime love affair with baseball.
He passed his love of baseball on to sons Jack, Dana and Arthur. Not many families can be distinguished as having played, all at one time, on and with the same team as the Smith family did in the Twilight league in the early 1940's.
lt was a scorekeeper’s nightmare with Louis as the catcher, Dana as the pitcher (or first base), Jack in leftfield or center and Artin right.
From the time his sons could throw and catch, Smith was always available after supper and on weekends. Pepper games and hitting fly balls brought down the curtain of nearly every summer day for the Smith boys and their dad.
Because of this interest and early training, the brothers matured early in their baseball backgrounds and all three were recognized as all-Telegram League.
Speaking of early maturity, when Smith was in the fifth grade in Stonington on the grammar school team, the high school had him behind the plate. When at Broadway School (later Henley School) in South Portland and in the seventh grade, the principal, Gip Henley (for whom the school was later named), took him out of class for a special fitting for his baseball uniform.
In eighth grade at Scituate, Mass., there was a teacher-coach with no baseball background and young Louie ran the team.
later, at the ripe old age of 16, with the permission of his parents, Smith joined the Navy in World War I on April 11, 1917 and was assigned to the Battleship New Hampshire. He tried out for the baseball team - as a catcher.
But with 27 other catchers also in line for a job, Smith decided he might have a better chance at short. Little did he realize that the manager was Bud Fisher, who had been a star shortstop at the Naval Academy.
Finally, when things didn’t look too good at short, Fisher put him behind the plate - a position he held for the next two years. After service in the mid to late 1920’s he played on teams in Tarrytown, N.Y., Fisher Body and the Glenville Cubs.
Smith Returned to Maine in the early 1930’s, playing regularly in the Sunset League at Bayside, then the Twilight League. In 1951 he turned his baseball experience to the Falmouth Little League. Over the next 34 years he helped to develop one of the best programs in Southern Maine.
He still serves as honorary president of the Falmouth Little League.
He was honored in 1981 when the Little League Field was named the C. Louis Smith Field.