Ben Smith possessed a unique ability to write about sports. The emphasis was always on the human, never on numbers. He recently thanked the Inskeeps (Richard and Julie) for “putting up” with him for 38 years. They recognized talent when they saw it.
One of Smith's columns especially stands out in my mind. He wrote about the Central Catholic High School football team of 1950, which was declared to be “mythical state champion.” At that time playoffs had not yet been established. That column was a gem. I was a member of that class of 1950-51.
Thank you, Ben, for sharing your extraordinary writing talent with Journal Gazette readers for an amazing 38 years. I, for one, will greatly miss your keen insights and broad knowledge of the world of sport. I'm sure I speak for your numerous Journal Gazette readers in wishing you the very best. Now, play ball!
JEROME A. WELCH