During the years of rivalry for supremacy on the ball field between the Union and Empire Clubs there were two men whose marked personalities were prominent features of that long struggle, Asa W. Smith and H. Clay Sexton, the old fire-fighter. Both stood in the same relation to his own club: the latter as the father of the Empire and the former of the Union. Both were ardent admirers and promoters of the game, each in his own way, as an athletic sport at which his own club should outdo all home rivals. Personally they were the best of friends and their good-natured chaffing of one another was one of the regular by-plays of each contest.-E.H. Tobias, writing in The Sporting News, November 16, 1895
Asa Smith was a young man of many bright and endearing traits and it was his personal magnetism that gathered into the Union Club that galaxy of young athletes whose names adorned its role of membership. Like Clay Sexton, he had the most implicit confidence in the superiority of his own club and the two seldom failed to risk a small wager either upon the result of a game or the probability of a run being made in an inning, the loser having to bear no small amount of chaffing.