In case you missed it, the Red Sox officially announced their hiring of Bianca Smith as a minor-league coach on Monday.
Smith, 29, becomes the first Black woman to coach in the history of professional baseball, which goes back to 1869.
“The opportunity is amazing,” Smith told MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds on Monday’s installment of Hot Stove. “I’m still wrapping my head around it. I probably won’t have it really sink in until I’m actually there.
“But, I think it’s a great opportunity also to inspire other women who are interested in this game,” she added. “This is not really 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.”
Prior to signing on with the Red Sox, Smith played college softball at Dartmouth College from 2011-2012. She also has experience as director of baseball operations and a graduate assistant at Case Western Reserve from 2013-2017 as well as an assistant hitting coach at the University of Dallas in 2018.
Currently, Smith operates as an assistant baseball coach and hitting coordinator for Carroll University (Wisc.). She will remain in that role for the next few weeks before joining the Red Sox.
“Preparing for the season, I’m doing exactly what I’ve been doing for the last several years,” she said. “Just continue to keep learning, continue to keep researching. Doing as much as I can. I’ve still got several weeks here at Carroll, so I get to work with my players here. So that will be great preparation. I’m going to be nonstop coaching for about the next seven or eight weeks before I get started with the Red Sox.”
In her role with Boston, Smith will primarily work with minor-league position players at the club’s player development facility in Fort Myers.
The Pennsylvania native does also have prior experience working within major-league organizations, interning for both the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers’ baseball operations departments in recent years.
“She was a great candidate coming in,” Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett said of Smith. “She’s had some really interesting experiences and has been passionate about growing her skill set and development herself… It’s a meaningful, meaningful thing for the organization.”
According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne, the Red Sox are expected to introduce Smith to the media via Zoom conference sometime this week.
The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams was the first to report last week that the Red Sox were hiring Smith as a minor-league coach.
Information from MLB.com, MLB Network, and The Boston Globe was used in this article.