Smead Jolley

From BR Bullpen

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Smead Powell Jolley
(Guinea or Smudge)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3½", Weight 210 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

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
1925 Texas Association 26
1928 Pacific Coast League 45
  • 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

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1930 & 1932)

Related Sites[edit]