Giddings Public Library and Cultural Center
Hilton Lee Smith Collection
The library's Hilton Lee Smith Collection recognizes the accomplishments of one of Giddings' most notable "Hometown Heroes." Born in Giddings in 1907, Hilton Lee Smith went on to become one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. Smith began playing baseball on his father's local team, and he later pitched for Prairie View A&M's baseball team.
After playing for the Austin Black Senators, the Monroe Monarchs, and a 1935 semi-pro championship team in Bismarck, North Dakota, Smith went on to play for the Kansas City Monarchs.
During Smith's time in Kansas City, his fame and prowess as a true big-league pitcher grew. There, Smith teamed up with the great Satchel Paige to become a formidable pitching team. Hilton Lee Smith was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001. To recognize the accomplishments of one of its most famous citizens, in 2009, the City of Giddings named a baseball field in his honor.
After a long baseball career, Smith retired from baseball and served as a teacher and coach in Missouri. At the time of his death in 1983, Smith worked as an associate scout for the Chicago Cubs.