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SMITH, ELMER JOHN

SMITH, ELMER JOHN (21 Sept. 1892-3 Aug. 1984), who hit the first grand slam home run in world series history, was born at Sandusky, Ohio, the son of George C. and Mary Lentz Smith. His baseball career began in Cleveland, playing with the Naps in 1914. He continued with the newly-renamed Indians until 1921, with the exception of the 1916-17 season when his playing time was divided between the Indians and the Washington Senators. Smith's history-making grand slam home run occurred at Dunn Field 10 Oct. 1920 during the fifth game of the World Series. In the first inning of the game against the Brooklyn Dodgers, Smith hit his homerun with Charlie Jameson, Bill Wambsganss, and player-manager TRIS SPEAKER on base, enabling the Indians to win 8-1 and take the series lead three games to two. The Indians went on to win the world championship. Smith later played with Boston, and New York in the American League, and Cincinnati in the National League. During his 10-year major league career as a outfielder, 1914-25, he compiled a .276 batting average. However his best years were with Cleveland when he hit .321 in 1914 and .316 in 1920. After he retired from baseball in 1925 Smith lived in Cleveland, working as a salesman for the Leisy Brewing Co. in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1974 he moved to Kentucky.

Smith married Ruth E. Hanrath in Cleveland 28 Dec. 1920. He died in Columbia, Ky., and was survived by four grandchildren.