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Bazz Owen Smaulding

Bazz Owen Smaulding, a teacher, athlete, and coach, was the son of a pioneer African-American family in New Mexico. Although born in Fort Griffin, Texas, by 1905 his family was living on a homestead ranch near Clayton, New Mexico. Smaulding graduated from Albuquerque Grammar School in 1915 and attended Albuquerque High School from 1915-1920. During 1919 he served in the U.S. Army Service. Smaulding's athletic career was exemplary. He excelled at basketball, football, baseball, and track. He set many individual records in the decathlon events. During the summer, he pitched for Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Madrid baseball teams. From 1920-1923, he attended the University of Washington at Seattle, participating in football and track. By 1923 he earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Idaho at Moscow. By 1928 he was a pitcher in the Negro Leagues and played for the Kansas City Monarchs, the American Giants of Chicago, and the Gilkerson Union Giants of Chicago. In 1935, the Piney Woods School near Jackson, Mississippi, hired him as a teacher and coach.