Meet Bianca Smith, The First Black Female MLB Coach

by Erica Gerald Mason

The Boston Red Sox announced Smith will be a minor league coach; spring training starts in February

The last three months saw troubling news: soaring contagion rates of coronavirus, an act of domestic terrorism at the U.S. Capitol, and a slow approval on the COVID-19 stimulus package. The news that the Boston Red Sox announced they’d hired Bianca Smith to be a Minor League coach is a much-needed reason to celebrate.

What’s especially exciting is Smith will become the first Black female coach in professional baseball. Justine Siegal became the first female coach in baseball when she was hired by the Oakland Athletics in 2015.

CNN reports that during an interview with the MLB Network, Smith spoke about her career in baseball. “I think it’s a great opportunity also to just kind of inspire other women who are interested in this game,” Smith said. “This is not something I thought about when I was younger and I kind of fell into it being an athlete, so I’m excited to get that chance to show what I can do.”

Smith, played softball at Dartmouth College, before leaving the school to study law at Case Western Reserve University. While at Case Western Reserve, she was director of baseball operations. Prior to signing with the Red Sox, Smith coached at Carroll University in Wisconsin.

In an interview, Smith expressed her happiness in becoming a part of the Red Sox organization. “Super excited. I’ve said this a couple times, but the idea that I get to just coach — I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around it.”

Smith plans to spend the first part of the season getting to know the players and staff.

“That’s a huge part of my coaching philosophy,” Smith said. “I have to learn how the players learn.”

The position comes with more than just the title of coach. Smith understand’s the importance of her role, and wants to be a source of inspiration for children, especially young Black girls.

“I’m hoping to be that person that, yeah, looks like them, and give them the idea of ‘Hey, I can do this,’” Smith said. “Sometimes it’s not the idea that I can’t do it, it’s just you never thought about it because you don’t see anyone who looks like you.”

Representation is important for children, as it allows them to see a possible future. Young girls will see Smith in her role and understand that, if they choose, they can also have a career in major league sports.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King offered Smith her congratulations on Twitter. “Congratulations to Bianca Smith, who was just hired by the Red Sox as a minor league coach. She will be the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball history. See it. Be it!”