Not many people would associate Dr. Stuart Smith with baseball. Politics, yes. Medicine, yes.
Now add baseball.
The Intercounty Baseball League, of which the Hamilton Cardinals are a member, has appointment Smith as its new commissioner.
Smith has had a long and distinguished career while holding senior positions in medicine, politics and business, but it is his love of baseball that was the determining factor in his decision to accept the position as the Commissioner of the oldest running baseball league in Canada.
“I have a lifelong interest in baseball, and the IBL is great for the communities that have teams,” Smith says. “I am fortunate that at this stage of my life I have the time required to be able to do this and I am very much looking forward to helping this league continue to prosper.”
After eight years as a professor of psychiatry at McMaster University Medical School, Smith won the Leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party in January 1976 and was Leader of the Opposition in the Ontario legislature from 1977 to 1982. From 1982 to 1987, he was the appointed Chairman of the Science Council of Canada, advising both Liberal and Conservative governments on science and technology policy.
He founded in 1987, and still heads, RockCliffe Research and Technology Inc., a firm which is focused on the commercialization of advanced technology. As a result, he is currently a director and/or chairman of the board of several high technology companies.
During 1990 and 1991, he was appointed by Canada’s universities as a one-person Commission of Inquiry on Canadian University Education. Smith later chaired, for seven years, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
As a volunteer, he is one of the longest-serving governors in the history of Humber College, and a former board chair at that institution, as well as chairman of the board of the Ottawa General Hospital and a governor of the University of Ottawa.
But throughout all of that, Smith has always found time to indulge in his favorite pastime, and that is baseball.
“My father took me to see Jackie Robinson in Montreal years ago, and I have always been fascinated by the game, especially its strategy and statistics,” Smith says. “It’s an amazing game, I love it, and I taught my two kids to play baseball.”
Smith plays singles tennis regularly, was a sports editor at university and is a lifelong fan and student of baseball, considering it to be the most strategy-oriented of the popular team sports.
“This is all about the love of the game with me,” he adds. “I am delighted to be involved in baseball at this level.”
Smith becomes the eighth commissioner in IBL history and replaces Joe O’Neill, who resigned as commissioner in the off-season. Deputy commissioner Doug Grundy had been serving as commissioner on an interim basis and will return to his prior role. The IBL’s 94th season opened last weekend.