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He ‘left’ the equipment so the black baseball players who lived in Pine Bluff could have a chance to play ball with good equipment.

My dad was one of the early baseball integrationists, and he thought everyone should have a chance to play the game.” After their move to Fort Smith, Hig did a terrific job of promoting sports for boys.

Caray was an entertaining announcer with a stock of pet phrases.

In the winter of 1954 he visited the Boys Club on a promotional tour known as the Cardinal Caravan.

Hundreds of boys, including Billy, sat on the gym floor waiting to hear Caray yell out his favorite phrase: “It might be, it could be, it is, a home run!“My life was shaped by 215 Wheeler Avenue,” Billy says.“It was a splendid rock building just two blocks over from Subby Valenti’s Tattoo Parlor on Towson Avenue.” That rock building housed the Fort Smith Boys Club, complete with an indoor swimming pool and a full-sized hardwood floor gymnasium.“By the time I was old enough to mow the grass at Hunt’s Park, I was also picking up the trash, and playing baseball there every day.When I wasn’t on the ball field, I was in a corner reading,” Billy remembers. My mother saw to that.” In addition to Hig’s duties as director of the Boys Club, he also coached The Fort Smith Randall Victors, an American Legion baseball team. “I was a ten-year-old bat boy for those games.” One of the players for the Victors was Hal Smith, later known as “The Barling Darling.” He caught the attention of pro scouts and eventually became a pitcher for the St. This further endeared Arkansas fans to the Cardinals, whose games were broadcast by the famous announcer Harry Caray on KFPW out of the Goldman Hotel on Garrison Avenue.

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