In the world history of sports, Smokey Joe Williams is widely recognized as one of baseball’s greatest players. The Baseball Hall of Fame great was born in Seguin, Texas, on April 6, 1886. His parents were of mixed heritage, one being African-American and the other Comanche Indian. At an early age, because of his fast ball, Williams acquired the nickname “Cyclone Joe” or simply “Cyclone,” frequently listed in newspapers solely by that name. In the 1930s, his name became “Smokey Joe” and “Cyclone” was soon dropped.
Williams began playing professional baseball in 1905 with the San Antonio Broncos, and was an immediate star. At 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 200 pounds, he was a man with a tremendous fast ball, and quickly became famous for pitching no hitters. In one game against the Kansas City Monarchs in 1930, he struck out 27 batters in a 12-inning game.