Red Sox Hire First Black Female Minor League Coach
Major League Baseball is continuing to break barriers as the Boston Red Sox have hired the first black and female minor league coach in history on New Years Eve. This progressive move by the Red Sox’ hire of Bianca Smith follows those of the MLB, the Miami Marlins, and the San Francisco Giants. The MLB officially elevated the status of the Negro Leagues to major league and the Miami Marlins hired the first female East Asian American general manager who currently is the highest-ranking female in baseball.
A forgotten move in Major League baseball seems to be when the San Francisco Giants hired Alyssa Nakken to become the first female coach in MLB history. She is to become a full-time coach after she earned her master’s degree in sports management and played softball for Sacramento State. This was the first move in Major League baseball that seemed to spark the hiring of women to come by other clubs and organizations.
Bianca Smith will become a minor league coach for the Red Sox organization after being a hitting coach for Carroll University in Wisconsin. Her primary work will be focused on player development in the Red Sox’ spring training facility in Fort Meyers, Florida. Smith will use her skills of coaching hitting and apply it to her new job with the Sox.
Smith has no absence of experience as she previously worked baseball-related jobs at Case Western Reserve University, the University of Dallas, and internships with both the Texas Rangers and the Cincinnati Reds organizations. Now working in professional baseball, Smith wants to focus on learning more about the body and its mechanics in order to apply specific drills, based on athletes’ bodies. Along with mechanical studies, Smith also uses statistics and analytics to determine the best course of action.
The Boston Red Sox are beyond excited to welcome Bianca Smith, but her aspirations are much more than being a coach. Her ultimate goal is to become a manager to see how much she can grow and learn. "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."(ESPN)
Unfortunately, the challenges of being a woman, never mind a black woman in baseball operations comes with its challenges. Bianca Smith has been judged several times upon Her appearance alone
Some interactions with Bianca Smith and people include; “‘Oh, which player is your kid?’ I’m like, ‘They’re four years younger than me. I’m not even that much older than them. I don’t know why you’d think one of them is my kid.’” and “Somebody comes up and assumes I’m the equipment manager,” Smith said. “I’m the trainer. I’ve had the question, ‘Oh, which player are you dating?’(The Providence Journal)
According to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics and Sport, Major League Baseball earned an overall score of 79.5 in 2019 for diversity hiring practices which increased in 2020 to 80.7. The world of professional sports has a long way to go when it comes to racial justice and gender equality, but steps like these certainly make a difference.
After reaching out to Bianca Smith about being a woman in professional baseball as well as her new role with the Red Sox, here is what she had to say: “It’s great to see so many women making their way into the visible side of professional sports recently and it’s encouraging to hear of many others who are interested. I’m not the first and I certainly won’t be the last. I’m very excited to be joining the Red Sox organization. I enjoyed my time at Carroll University but I’m excited to contribute to the Red Sox and provide as much value as I can to our players.”
Thanks to brave and aspiring women and women of culture like Bianca Smith, Kim Ng, and Alyssa Nakken, professional sports like Major League Baseball are starting to become a place for all. Major League Baseball seems to be increasing their ethnic and gender diversity when it comes to who they hire which will, in turn, create a better baseball community.