Bianca Smith is making baseball history. The Boston Red Sox have hired Smith as a minor-league coach, making Smith the first Black woman to coach in pro baseball history, according to Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe.
Smith comes to the team with plenty of experience. In 2017, she interned in the Texas Rangers’ baseball operations department. She also interned with the Cincinnati Reds and worked for Major League Baseball, as part of its amateur administration.
Prior to that, Smith played softball at Dartmouth College. She also worked as a director of baseball operations at Case Western Reserve and was an assistant coach at the University of Dallas, according to McWilliams. Smith served as an assistant coach and hitting instructor for Carroll University before joining the Red Sox.
The team is expected to announce Smith’s hiring in January, but Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett already confirmed the news. Crockett called Smith a great candidate who “had some really interesting experiences and has been passionate about growing her skill set and development herself,” according to the Boston Globe.
Bianca Smith breaking baseball barriers
With the hiring, Smith becomes the first Black woman to coach in pro baseball history. She will not, however, be the only woman coaching around the league. Last season, the San Francisco Giants hired Alyssa Nakken as the first woman coach in MLB history. In 2019, the New York Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec as a hitting coach. Other prominent women hired by teams include Rachel Folden of the Chicago Cubs and Christina Whitlock of the St. Louis Cardinals.
In 2009, Justine Siegal became the first woman hired on a coaching staff of a professional men’s baseball team. Siegal went on to become the first woman to be hired to a major-league coaching staff in 2015, joining the Oakland Athletics.
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