Former USA Baseball Federation President Robert "Ish" Smith Passes Away At 85
The international baseball world is mourning the passing of former USA Baseball Federation and International Baseball Federation president Robert “Ish” Smith. Smith died Aug. 18. He was 85.
Smith served as the president of the United States Baseball Federation from 1980-1989. He was the president of IBAF from 1981-1993. During that time Smith was instrumental in getting baseball added to the Olympics, first as a demonstration sport in 1984, and then eventually as a medal sport for the 1992 Olympic Games.
“Ish’s many successes in our sport helped lay the foundation for international baseball as we know it today,” said USA Baseball President Mike Gaski. “It is remarkable he was able to witness baseball’s return to the Olympic Programme for Tokyo 2020, honoring one of his most significant contributions to the game in his long, prosperous career. We join the entire baseball world in mourning the passing of a founding father of the international game and will continue to celebrate his many years of service to our organization.”
During Smith’s tenure as IBAF president, he worked with the International Softball Federation to create the International Confederation of Baseball and Softball. A follow-up organization (the World Baseball Softball Confederation) is what organizes international baseball and softball organizations today.