In 1963, the same year that John F. Kennedy got shot, David Smith was 19 years old and playing for the first baseball team at Gibbs Junior College in St. Petersburg. At the time, schools had yet to be integrated and the school was an all-black campus. Forty-eight years later, in 2011, Smith received a letter informing him that he had been inducted into the Hall of Fame of Gibbs Junior College, which is now St. Petersburg Community College.
Smith, who has lived in Lake Wales his entire life, worked as a deputy sheriff with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office until 2002 when he retired. He now serves as the president of the N.A.A.C.P. in Lake Wales. When Smith received the letter informing him he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he was surprised and did not even tell his wife and children at first. “I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because I didn’t know what was going on,” said Smith.
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