The Obit For Paul C. Smith

Local journalist Paul C. Smith dies at 46

Ex-Tampa Tribune sports editor Paul C. Smith was known for loving baseball and "always smiling."

By MARC TOPKIN, St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer

Published February 28, 2005

Paul C. Smith, a longtime bay area sports journalist, died late Saturday. He was 46.

Mr. Smith worked as a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times and on the staffs of the Tallahassee Democrat and Tampa Tribune , where he was executive sports editor from 1990-2000. Most recently, he covered the Devil Rays for Major League Baseball's official Web site with his stories posted daily on

Mr. Smith died at University Community Hospital-Carrollwood as the result of a blood clot believed to be acomplication from the right leg he broke last month in a household accident, the Devil Rays said. He had been admitted to the hospital earlier Saturday after complaining of shortness of breath, and had been treated with blood thinners.

Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Martha Van Strander, and two children, Dale, 15, and Kelsey, 13.

"We're devastated by the loss of Paul Smith," Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said. "At his age, with the family that he had, the type of person that he was, it was just gut-wrenching this morning. He loved the game.

"He liked being around here and being with the Devil Rays. It's just so unexpected."

Mr. Smith, a St. Petersburg Catholic High graduate, was well-liked by journalists he worked with and by players he covered.

"I just remember Paul as a guy always smiling, never angry and always willing to work with you and talk with you," Rays pitcher Seth McClung said. "He was just overall good. There are so many people who have hidden agendas, but Paul never had any agenda with anything. He just wanted to do his job the best he could."

"Paul covered the Devil Rays with such enthusiasm, and he maintained such an admirable balance in the way he lived," said Dinn Mann, editor in chief. "He was a genuine listener, an attentive friend, a fun, caring, quality human being. Already he is missed beyond words."

Funeral arrangements are pending.