Bianca Smith made history in 2021 after she became the first Black woman to serve as a minor league coach for the Boston Red Sox organization. Now, she’s helping players at the Red Sox’ spring facility perfect their swings and pitch accuracy.
How it all began for Bianca Smith
During an interview with the New York Times last year, the revered baseball coach thanked her late mother, who died of cancer in 2013, for stoking her passion for the sport. Smith recalled fond memories of watching her mother rally and cheer for her favorite team, the Yankees. Her favorite player was former shortstop Derek Jeter.
“That’s when I really started to understand what baseball was all about,” Smith explained. “I couldn’t get enough of it.”
While Smith’s mother would certainly be proud to see all of what she has achieved, the 31-year-old star athlete said her mom might be shocked to learn of her position with the Red Sox, a team she deeply despised given their rivalry with the Yankees.
“If I get a job with the Red Sox, Mom is going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” Smith joked to her younger brother after she landed the job.
She has an impressive baseball resume
Molly Harris, the Red Sox’s talent acquisition specialist, was blown away when Smith’s resume landed on her desk last year. Smith graduated from an Ivy League school with two graduate degrees–one in sports business, the other in sports law. She’s also had internships with the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers along with college coaching experience and multiple certifications.
Since taking on her minor league role with the Red Sox, Smith has helped the team to perfect their swing and pitches to tee with her winning formula. She’s so good, to the point where some have questioned her ability, but she has a great comeback for all the doubters.
“My response is ‘Men coach women all the time.’ When a man gets a job coaching a women’s sport, nobody asks how,” she told Bakersfield.com earlier this month.
Smith added that when she’s out on the field practicing with players, her gender isn’t even a topic of conversation.
“The only time I ever really notice it is when somebody else points it out,” she said. “It’s usually not explicit. They say something and turn around and realize there’s a woman there and they normally wouldn’t say whatever they said in front of a woman. They eventually get to know me well enough to stop caring and just treat me like any of the other coaches.”
The star added, “To me, that’s the most important thing, especially for players because I can’t get the best performance out of them if they’re always worried about saying or doing something to offend me. I want them to be comfortable being themselves and if they do say or do something that’s inappropriate, they know that I won’t go running to tell on them; I’ll take them aside and explain why it was wrong and educate them.”
As for her future goals, Smith hopes to “become good enough to be a Major League coach” one day.
Smith will share more about her historic career on Dec. 1 as a guest of honor at California State University, an event that will be held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, “the landmark federal legislation that prohibits discrimination based on gender in education programs, particularly women’s athletics,” the outlet noted.
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