From our friends at The American Baseball Foundation:
Robert E. Smith, affectionately known as Ish to his friends, celebrated his 85th birthday at his favorite institution, Greenville University in Greenville, Illinois on May 15, 2021. Dr. Smith had been the university’s ninth president during the decade of the 1990’s. During the previous two decades he had served as the president of the International Baseball Association while he served his university as its vice president for development.
The American Baseball Foundation, of which Bob is a founding director, offered a summary of the baseball’s inclusion into the Olympic Games, noting that Bob was the chief architect of the strategy to have baseball and softball included into the family of world sports.
The surprise party included the accolades of many of Bob’s former baseball players, university employees and his own beautiful family. Bob’s leadership style of Christian virtue had affected those 100 persons in attendance, reaching beyond Greenville to many thousands of persons with whom Bob has interacted over the decades.
After three hours of effusive praise, Bob replied that Jesus has bestowed on him his family and the gifts he had used to lead his university’s expansion and the expansion of baseball to many new players and enthusiasts around the world.