Bianca Smith broke through the boundaries of tradition when she was hired by the Boston Red Sox as a Minor League coach in January, making her the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball.
Smith, 30, joins the Red Sox organization after most recently serving as the assistant coach and hitting coordinator at Carroll University in Wisconsin.
“The opportunity is amazing,” Smith said in an interview with the MLB Network at the time. “I think it’s a great opportunity also to kind of inspire other women who are interested in this game.”
She continued: “This is not really something I thought about 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.”
Smith was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in a suburb just outside of Dallas, where she played both baseball and softball.
She wasn’t from a baseball-playing family but her mother, ironically a devout New York Yankees fan, introduced her to the sport at a young age.
“’Rookie of the Year,’ ‘The Sandlot,’ ‘Angels in the Outfield’ – I saw those and that continued my love of the game,” Smith said. “And then I kind of studied it on my own. Learned the strategy. And that was probably one of my favorite parts, was that I could follow the strategy watching a game without having to actually play.”
She would go on to attend Dartmouth University, where she played softball for two years as well as club baseball.
During her time at Dartmouth, Smith approached the university’s baseball coach about serving as a team manager. She went on to serve several roles for the baseball program before graduating in 2012.
She then worked as director of baseball operations from 2013-17 at Case Western Reserve University before going on to briefly serve as an assistant coach at the University of Dallas in 2018.
Smith most recently served as the assistant coach and hitting coordinator at Carroll University in Wisconsin.
THE GOAL IS TO GROW
After becoming the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball, Smith said she still aspires for more.
“I don’t want to limit myself and I want to go as I can,” Smith said, via ESPN. “I want to continue to challenge myself and right now, that [goal] is MLB manager. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. … As much as I love coaching, I want to be in that position. I want to learn as much as I can to be in that role.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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