The Pacific Coast League announced its 2011 inductions to the PCL Hall of Fame: Former San Francisco Seal Joe Marty, former Sacramento Solon/Mission Red/Portland Beaver John Monroe and former Portland Beaver Elmer Smith.
Joseph Anton Marty, born on September 1st, 1913 in Sacramento, California, made his professional baseball debut with the PCL’s San Francisco Seals at the age of 20 in 1934. Roaming the outfields alongside baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, the right-handed outfielder played in 142 games in his inaugural season. After helping the Seals win the 1935 PCL Championship, Marty would go on to have a career year in 1936, claiming the league’s batting title with a .359 average.
The following season in 1937, the Christian Brothers (Sacramento) High School product would embark upon a five-year career in the Major Leagues, playing for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. He became the first Cubs player ever to hit a home run in a night game on July 1st, 1938 against the Cincinnati Reds.
Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Marty stepped away from the game of baseball to enlist in the Air Force for four years during World War II. Sergeant Marty served with the Army Air Force at Mather Field near Sacramento from 1942-1944 and at Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base near San Francisco from 1944-1945. Although Marty’s professional baseball career was put to the side, his love for the sport endured as he competed with his fellow armed servicemen in games on the military bases in their spare time.
Marty returned to the PCL in 1946, where he closed out his baseball career as a member of his hometown team, the Sacramento Solons, until 1952. For his 10-year PCL career, Marty played in 1,391 games, batting .309 with 1,490 hits, 289 doubles, 58 triples, 104 stolen bases and 116 home runs.
Marty passed away on October 4th, 1984 in Sacramento, California at the age of 71.
John Allen Monroe, who was born on August 24th, 1898 in Farmersville, Texas, played for eight seasons in the PCL between 1926-1933 as a member of the Sacramento Senators (1926-29), Mission Reds (1930-31), and Portland Beavers (1931-33).
After hitting .295 and .296 in his first two seasons in the PCL, the left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing second baseman never hit below .321 in his six remaining PCL seasons. For his career, Monroe posted a .326 batting average in 1,295 PCL games while also collecting 1,621 hits, 309 doubles, 45 triples and 80 home runs.
In 1930, at the age of 31, Monroe set career-highs in hits and home runs with 241 and 28, respectively. The following season, in 1931, he posted a career-best .362 batting average — 6th best in the PCL that season — while splitting his season with Mission and Portland. During his first full season with Portland in 1932, Monroe helped the Beavers win their first PCL Championship since 1914.
Monroe began his professional baseball career in 1920 and played in the big leagues for one season in 1921, beginning the year with the New York Giants, the World Series champion of that season, and ending it with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Monroe died on June 19th, 1956 in Conroe, Texas. He was 57 years old.
Elmer John Smith, a Sandusky, Ohio native, played for three seasons in the PCL from 1926 through 1928 but made a quick impact over the short time. Born on September 21st, 1892, Smith played in the Major Leagues from 1914 until 1925 before joining the PCL in 1926 at the age of 33. The left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing outfielder was the PCL’s home run champion in his first two seasons in the league, hitting 46 and 40 home runs, respectively, with the Portland Beavers in 1926 and 1927. The 46 homers in 1926 are the most ever by a Portland player while his 40 roundtrippers in ’27 were the most among all minor leaguers that season.
Smith hit over .300 in each of his three seasons in the PCL, including a career-best .368 batting average in 1927. In 549 PCL games, Smith batted .341 with 675 hits, 131 doubles, 18 triples, and 112 home runs.
As a Major Leaguer, Smith had his best statistical season in 1920 when he hit .316 with 37 doubles, 10 triples, a team-best 12 home runs and 103 RBIs for the World Series champion, the Cleveland Indians. In the first inning of Game Five of the 1920 World Series, Smith hit the first grand slam in World Series history off of Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher, and eventual Hall of Famer, Burleigh Grimes. Smith was also a member of the 1923 World Series champion New York Yankees.
Smith passed away on August 3rd, 1984 in Columbia, Kentucky at the age of 91.
With the addition of the Class of 2011, the PCL’s Hall of Fame consists of 90 members, including 68 as players, nine as both a player and manager, three as managers and 10 others who range from league presidents, owners, a historian, an umpire and a sports cartoonist.
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