We went two and two.” After joining the Air Force in March, 1961 and training as a navigator, Billy played one year of service ball at James Connally Air Force Base, but after that he stopped, concentrating instead on a teaching career and his family.
One of the fields in Kelley Park is named after Charles Higgins, the father of Billy Higgins, a history professor at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith.When I wasn’t on the ball field, I was in a corner reading,” Billy remembers. My mother saw to that.” In addition to Hig’s duties as director of the Boys Club, he also coached The Fort Smith Randall Victors, an American Legion baseball team. “I was a ten-year-old bat boy for those games.” One of the players for the Victors was Hal Smith, later known as “The Barling Darling.” He caught the attention of pro scouts and eventually became a pitcher for the St. This further endeared Arkansas fans to the Cardinals, whose games were broadcast by the famous announcer Harry Caray on KFPW out of the Goldman Hotel on Garrison Avenue.