Bianca Smith makes history as first Black woman coach in professional baseball

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Bianca Smith (r.) joins the Red Sox.

Bianca Smith (r.) joins the Red Sox.
Screenshot: MLB Network

The Boston Red Sox recently announced that Bianca Smith will join the ballclub, making her the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball. Smith will begin her MLB career at the Red Sox player development facility in Florida. There, she’ll work with minor league players.

Last week, the Boston Globe reported on Smith’s hire, which was made official by the Red Sox on Monday night.

“The opportunity is amazing, I’m still wrapping my head around it.” Smith told Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds on MLB Network. “I think it’s a great opportunity also to kind of inspire other women who are interested in this game. This is not really something I thought about it when I was younger. I kind of fell into it being an athlete. So I’m excited to get that chance to show what I can do.”

For the past two years, Smith has served as an assistant coach and hitting coordinator at Carroll University. In 2018, she was an assistant coach at the University of Dallas. And from 2013 to 2017 she was the director of baseball operations at Case Western Reserve University.

Before her professional career in baseball, she played softball at Dartmouth. She was also an intern for the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds.

The 29-year-old took to social media Tuesday to thank folks for their overwhelmingly positive reactions. “I am so incredibly grateful for all of the support I’ve been getting!” she wrote. “Of course none of this would be possible without the help of my family, friends, and the trailblazers who came before me. I can’t wait to get started. Thank you so much and go Red Sox!!”

Last January, Alyssa Nakken was hired by the San Francisco Giants as the first female coach in MLB. Over the summer, she became the first woman to coach on the field during an MLB game.

Nakken, Sarah Fuller, and Becky Hammon were among the female sports figures who broke barriers in 2020. 2021 is off to a good start with Smith, and hopefully more to come.

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