It took the Baseball Hall Of Fame more than a half century to recognize the extraordinary talents of the K.C. Monarchs' "other pitcher" during the late 1930s and 1940s. In an era when the colorful Satchel Paige was the darling of black sportswriters and, consequently, the fan favorite on any day, the brilliant career of Hilton Smith never quite received the attention it deserved.
Smith had a solid foundation of experience when he joined the K.C. Monarchs staff in 1936. Prior to donning the Kansas City uniform he had played two years of college ball in Texas and labored for four seasons with the Monroe Monarchs (Negro Southern League) and lesser southern clubs. When he arrived in Kansas City he was ready for business.
During each of his 12 seasons with the Monarchs he posted 20+ wins. He appeared in six consecutive East-West All-Star games from 1937-1942, and in 1941 posted a .961 winning percentage in a 25-1 season. To top it all off Smith contributed three .300+ seasons at the plate, making him as dangerous at the plate as he was on the mound.
After his retirement from baseball Smith served as a scout for the Chicago Cubs organization. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall Of Fame in 2001.