EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT




Mens WT Championships 1981-2011 Vol. 2
Introduction


he sport of horseshoe pitching has provided lasting memories for millions who have enjoyed the game and I am no exception. But like most things, regrets can also creep in. One of my biggest regrets concerns my father, Dr. K. W. Smith. A humble man, my dad practiced veterinary medicine in the small Ohio town of West Liberty near the horseshoe pitching hotspot of southwestern Ohio. As a youth, I accompanied him to Bellefontaine where he pitched horseshoes in a Wednesday night league at Harmon field. We had not one, but two clay courts in our backyard. Dad carefully found four colors of clay for the pits, they were beauties. My regret is that I never learned to pitch from my dad. What a mistake! I don't know how good dad was, but in the October, 1953 issue of "The Horseshoe Pitcher", on page 15, it lists my dad as being in the Ohio State Championships in the Championship Mens group. It looks like there was a large group playing for the State Title and dad was listed as having forfeited all of his games. He often had veterinary calls interrupt his leisure time and probably missed the second day of the tournament, which in those days meant you forfeited them all. So I still don't know how good he was. What might have been?
   In my late 30's, with a box of my dad's old shoes, I started pitching in the California Department of Correction's summer games. I worked there for the better part of 30 years. In 15 or so years, I won 15-18 Gold or Silver medals and had a great time. Meanwhile, I discovered the NHPA and in 1985 I joined. Since then I have pitched in or directed over 600 tournaments and I'm still not a very good pitcher, having never gotten above 40%. Early on, I loved the history of the game. I read and reread Gary Kline's book and was thrilled to know personally the likes of Don Titcomb, Walter Ray Williams Jr., and several other Northern California World Champions. I kept abreast of the national level by interacting with my good friends: NATSTATS Director, the

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