Frank Smith
Born: (1879-10-28)October 28, 1879
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: November 3, 1952(1952-11-03) (aged 73)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 22, 1904, for the Chicago White Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1915, for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops
MLB statistics
Win–loss record139–111
Earned run average2.59
Career highlights and awards

Frank Elmer Smith (October 28, 1879 – November 3, 1952) was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1904 to 1915. He played for the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Terrapins, and Brooklyn Tip-Tops. Nicknamed "Piano Mover" because that was his offseason job,[1] Smith was a mainstay of the White Sox pitching staff during the early 20th century. He pitched two no-hitters and won over 20 games in two different seasons. He stood at 5' 10" and weighed 194 lbs.[2]


Smith was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After attending Grove City College, he started his professional baseball career in 1901 in the Virginia-North Carolina League. In 1903, he went 18–13 on the mound.[3] He was drafted by the White Sox in September.[2]

Smith made his major league debut in April 1904. That season, he was taught how to throw a spitball by Elmer Stricklett and was able to harness the pitch on his way to 16 wins.[4] In 1905, he improved to 19 wins. Smith threw his first no-hitter, against the Detroit Tigers, on September 6, and the final score (15–0) was the most lopsided in a no-hitter in American League history.[4] Smith did not allow a home run in either 1904 or 1905 and kept his earned run average under 2.20 in both seasons, as well.[2]

The "Piano Mover" slumped in 1906, going just 5–5 with a 3.39 ERA. The White Sox won the World Series that year, but Smith did not pitch in the six games. The next season, he bounced back with 23 wins, although his ERA+ was below 100 and he also led the league in walks. He then lowered his ERA to 2.03 in 1908.[2] On September 20, he pitched his second no-hitter, this time against the Philadelphia Athletics. He won the game 1–0 when Chicago scored the only run in the bottom of the ninth inning.[5] Smith was the only pitcher in team history to throw two no-hitters before Mark Buehrle accomplished the feat over 100 years later.[6]

Smith had his best statistical season in 1909.[5] Finally the White Sox staff ace, he pitched a career-high 365 innings and went 25–17 with a 1.80 ERA. He led all AL pitchers in games started, innings pitched, and strikeouts, and he finished second in wins.[2] In 1910, Smith started off 4–9 and was traded to the Red Sox in August. He was then sold to the Reds in 1911.[2] Smith spent 1912 and 1913 in the International League and led the league in innings pitched in 1913 while winning 21 games.[7] He finished his career with two seasons in the Federal League.[2]

Smith was a good hitting pitcher in his 11-year major league career. He posted a .204 batting average (156-for-766) with 81 runs, 41 doubles, 9 triples, 2 home runs, 85 RBI and 64 bases on balls. Defensively, he was better than average, recording a .962 fielding percentage which was 17 points higher than the league average at his position.[2]

After his baseball career ended, Smith went back to the moving business.[4] He died in 1952, of Bright's disease.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Murphy, Cait. Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History (HarperCollins, 2007), pp. 15–16.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Frank Smith Statistics and History". Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  3. ^ "Frank Smith Minor League Statistics & History". Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  4. ^ a b c d Bernstein, Sam. "Frank Smith". Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  5. ^ a b "Frank Smith Facts". Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  6. ^ Gonzales, Mark. "White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle throws perfect game". July 24, 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  7. ^ "1913 International League Pitching Leaders". Retrieved 2010-12-10.
Preceded byWeldon HenleyBob Rhoads No-hitter pitcher September 6, 1905September 20, 1908 Succeeded byBill DinneenAddie Joss