News & Events

Author Billy D. Higgins Appearing with Baseball Legend Hal Smith

The Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch lecture series presents Billy D. Higgins, author of The Barling Darling: Hal Smith in American Baseball. Higgins, accompanied by baseball legend Hal Smith, will discuss Smith's career on October 7, from noon to 1pm at the Main Library in the Darragh Center (100 S. Rock St.). Read more »

Hal Smith developed his arm by throwing baseballs at a Dr Pepper sign on the side of a building. It was a habit that took him from his small hometown of Barling, Arkansas to an All-Star career as a catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals.

In The Barling Darling, author Billy D. Higgins tells the story of a man who not only stood out in his career but also reflected the dynamic evolution in American culture in the postwar era, when baseball's maturation during the 1950s paralleled that of American society.

The Barling Darling, published by Butler Center Books, will be for sale at the event, and the author will be signing copies after the discussion.

Higgins is professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. His previous book, A Stranger and a Sojourner: Peter J. Caulder, Free Black Frontiersman in Antebellum Arkansas, won the Ragsdale Award for excellence in historical writing about Arkansas.

The Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch series is free and open to the public. Programs are held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Darragh Center in the Main Library, 100 Rock St., in Little Rock. All programs begin at noon and conclude by 1:00 p.m. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch. The Butler Center will provide water, soft drinks and dessert.