Smead Powell Jolley
(Guinea or Smudge)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3½", Weight 210 lb.
- Debut April 17, 1930
- Final Game October 1, 1933
- Born January 14, 1902 in Wesson, AR USA
- Died November 17, 1991 in Alameda, CA USA
Smead Jolley was one of the greatest hitters ever to play baseball and was one of the worst outfielders ever to put on a glove. Smead was so bad afield that he would make routine plays into the most precarious adventures. In only 4 seasons of outfield play in the majors, he managed to make 44 errors.
While tearing up the minors with his bat from 1926 to 1929, he was touted as the next Babe Ruth. His teammates in the minors included Earl Averill and Roy Johnson. Scouted by Bessie Largent and her husband Roy for the Chisox, Charles Comiskey shelled out big bucks to sign him.
While his minor league hitting feats are legendary, his major league fielding flops are infamous. Slow-footed Smead was so bad with a glove on his hand he could have made Harmon Killebrew look like a gold glover.
The first The Baseball Hall of Shame book retells the baseball apocrypha that Smead once made three errors on one play. The official scorer, perhaps out of the kindness of his heart or in the shock of disbelief credited him with only two. There is no evidence that this is anything other than a baseball folk-tale but the story does nicely depict Jolley's reputation with a glove on his hand.
Another baseball folk-tale about Jolley reports the Red Sox coaches spent days teaching him how to approach the ten-foot incline (Duffy's Cliff) that was then part of the left field area. (These were the days before warning tracks.) In one game against Washington, Smead showed that he could run up the incline, but he discovered that he had overrun a fly ball. Turning around to recover himself, Jolley started back down the incline only to fall on his face. When he got back into the dugout, Jolley yelled at his coaches saying, "For ten days you teach me to go up the hill, but none of you have the brains to teach me how to come down."
If Jolley had played in the designated hitter era, he might have set the kind of hitting records he did in the minors, but alas for Smead, he played in the days when fielding was as valued almost as much as hitting.
In 2003 he was elected to the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.
- BA Titles
- 1927 Pacific Coast League .397
- 1928 Pacific Coast League .404
- 1936 International League .373
- 1938 Pacific Coast League .350
- 1940 Western International League .373
- 1941 Western International League .345
- RBI Titles
- 1927 Pacific Coast League 163
- 1928 Pacific Coast League 188
- 1940 Western International League 181
- 1941 Western International League 128
- HR Titles
- Hits Leader
- 1925 Texas Association 174
- 1928 Pacific Coast League 309
- 1929 Pacific Coast League 314
- 1936 International League 221
- 1940 Western International League 224
- Led league in 2B: 1936 International League (52), 1940 Western International League (56)
- Triple Crown 1928 Pacific Coast League
- 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1930 & 1932)