action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

June 26. 2013 10:33PM

Queen City Hall of Famer George Smith praised for service to youth


George Smith 

When George Smith was inducted into the Queen City Hall of Fame in 1996, he was described as a Manchester icon who wore many hats to serve his community. That sentiment rings true today as friends showed their appreciation by saluting Smith back.

Hours after news of his death Tuesday began to spread, Paul Lemire said condolences throughout the state, region and country were received at Sweeney Post Wednesday.
“You name it, American Legion programs, seniors, various organizations, they were just pouring in and I wasn’t surprised,” said Lemire, athletic director for the post’s baseball program. “George was a tireless worker who did so much for so many people. His service is unmatched. I woke up (yesterday) and told my wife that I already miss him. My heart goes out to his wife, Ruthie, and the entire family.”

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas praised Smith as an alderman for eight years and his service to youths. “There’s no question George was someone who wanted to make sure the youths had a quality facility to play in. No one loved Gill Stadium more than George Smith. That stadium was a big part of his life.”

Last year when Smith stepped down after 36 years as the athletic director at Sweeney Post, he remained committee chairman of the Centennial Birthday Celebration of Gill Stadium set for Sept. 8.

“Sadly he won’t be there, but he put in a lot of work over the last 10 months to make sure we’d celebrate the stadium’s 100th anniversary,” said former alderman and longtime friend Mike Lopez. “George was a giant of a man. When he gave you his word, he stuck by it.”

Lopez said many of George’s friends were “carrying heavy hearts” yesterday including, John Cashin. “For decades John was George’s right hand man. George and John were so close and did so much for the post together over the years.”

Guild “Bushie” Hill, who served 35 total years with Post 79 and nine years as the state chairman of American Legion baseball, said his post and others always tried to emulate Sweeney Post under Smith’s leadership.

“George set a precedent for others to follow,” said Hill. “George did much of the grunt work and we respected it. When our post hosted the World Series at Gill Stadium in 1976 and 1977 we were quick to add George, John Cashin and his staff to help us. George always wanted to help kids and like so many others, I will miss him.”

George “Butch” Joseph who served as Director of the Manchester Babe Ruth League for three decades, said “what George accomplished in a lifetime would take others twice the time to do. When it came to helping our league, George was always the first to call. Whether it was donating money or giving us equipment, he wanted to help kids. He’s going to be sorely missed.”

As a youth Smith played football for both St. Joseph and the former Bishop Bradley High, played baseball for Sweeney Post, and played both varsity lacrosse and basketball at New England College.

He served many years as a junior high and high school director for the CYO basketball program in the city. He coached St. Raphael to a New England basketball championship in 1969.

In football, he was a longtime high school referee who also served as commissioner of the statewide Pop Warner organization.Smith and his brother, Denny, spent a few years coaching under the late head coach John “Jumbo” Reilly.Sweeney Post has won 30 baseball state titles, 10 under Smith’s direction, including a state-record six straight from 1977-82, with Reilly as head coach.

In 1982 Sweeney earned a World Series berth at Boyerstown, Pa. and another World Series berth at Danbury, Va., in 2002.


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

NFL rule could signal end of Justin Tuck signature facemask and that's a good thing according to UNH findings

NH man almost wins first $500k winner-takes-all open basketball tournament

Blue Jays move Dalton Pompey up to New Hampshire

Field set for 110th anniversary ĎClimb to the Clouds' car race

Contractors volunteer to complete renovations for 5th Annual Jericho ATV Festival

Dartmouth dismisses menís lacrosse coach

Jay Perrin looks to take his MMA career to the next level at Combat Zone 49

Dartmouth runner poised for long-term success on pro circuit

'Great Race' makes pit stop in Rochester

CHIP KELLY

Chip Kelly: Last practice not Fred Flintstone leaving work

Traffic jams expected with 30,000 fans at Epping dragway

Calgary Stampsí St. Pierre, complete with tattoos and plenty of brawn, not your typical NH wedding planner

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!