Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Death Of Asa Smith

The sad and unexpected death of Asa W. Smith created a profound feeling of regret throughout the city and in no circle was it more keenly felt and deplored than amongst the base ball fraternity by whom he was respected and beloved to an unusual degree. He was a genial and accomplished gentleman whose pleasant disposition, agreeable manners and kindly heart endeared him to all who were favored with his friendship. It was meet and proper that a special meeting was held in parlor No. 8 Southern Hotel by representatives of the Base Ball Brotherhood with whom he had long borne a prominent part. The following clubs were represented: Union, Empire, National, Turner, Rowena, Red Stockings, Benton, Niagera, Rival, Artisan, and Westerns of Keokuk.
-E.H. Tobias, writing in The Sporting News, January 25, 1896

Smith, who had been involved in an attempt to revive the baseball activities of the Union Club in the summer of 1874, was vacationing in Maine. On July 31, while his family members watched, Smith was swimming in the ocean when he disapeared under a wave. He never resurfaced.

The death of Asa W. Smith, president of the Union Baseball Club of St. Louis, was reported in the papers of August 2 and 3 (1874). Asa, who was a son of Sol Smith, the actor, was accidentally drowned off the coast of Maine, at Biddeford Pool. The Keokuk Baseball Club had arrived in St. Louis, but the game scheduled with the Unions was abandoned.
-W.E. Kelsoe

Smith's death but an end to the attempt to revive the Union Base Ball Club.

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