White Sox: The Mount Rushmore of utility players

Phil Watson
Ivan Calderon of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ivan Calderon of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The 1959 Chicago White Sox reached the World Series. (Photo by Herb Scharfman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /

Mount Rushmore of White Sox utility players: Al Smith

During his time with the Chicago White Sox, Al Smith played every outfield position and was a semi-regular at third base at the same time. The White Sox got Smith along with Early Wynn from the Cleveland Indians in December 1957, with fan favorite and franchise icon Minnie Minoso going the other way.

Smith helped the White Sox win the American League pennant in 1959, slugging 17 home runs, and hit .250 in the World Series. In 1960, Smith hit a career-high .315 and was named to both All-Star games that season.

In 1961, he had his best power numbers, belting 28 homers with 93 RBI.

Arriving in a big-name trade, Smith left Chicago the same way, going with Luis Aparicio to the Baltimore Orioles in January 1963 for four players, including Hoyt Wilhelm.

In five seasons with the White Sox, Smith hit .276 with a .789 OPS in 699 games and 2,843 plate appearances. He hit 85 homers, drove in 360 runs and scored 356.

He signed as a free agent with the Indians in July 1948, signed from the Cleveland Buckeyes of the Negro American League along with pitcher Sam Jones. He debuted with the Indians in July 1953 and was an All-Star in 1955, leading the league with 123 runs scored while earning an All-Star berth.

Smith went back to Cleveland in a December 1963 trade. He was released in August 1964 and signed with the Boston Red Sox, who cut him loose in October.

After he retired from baseball, Smith managed the city of Chicago park district baseball program until 1981. He also was supervisor of recreation at Ogden Park on the South Side and a part-time community relations rep for the White Sox.

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Smith died after a heart attack in January 2002 at the age of 73.

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