Bianca Smith is blazing a new trail for Black women in professional baseball this year.
The Boston Red Sox are hiring Smith as a minor league coach in 2021, making her the first female Black coach in the history of Major League Baseball.
Smith joined MLB Network's "Hot Stove" show Monday morning to discuss her ground-breaking role -- and what it represents for women hoping to pursue careers in baseball.
"I think it's a great opportunity to inspire other women who are interested in this game." - Bianca Smith
New @RedSox minor league coach Bianca Smith joined Matty V and Harold on #MLBNHotStove to discuss her historic hiring. pic.twitter.com/GXV9uHVFCL
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 4, 2021
"The opportunity is amazing," Smith said. "I'm still wrapping my head around it. I probably won't have it sink in until I'm actually there.
"But I think it's a great opportunity also to inspire other women in this game. 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 has a strong pedigree that dates to her playing days on Dartmouth College's softball team. She spent four years as the director of baseball operations at Case Western, was an assistant coach at the University of Dallas and currently serves as the baseball hitting coach and assistant athletic director for compliance and administration at Carroll University. Smith also has held internships in the Texas Rangers' and Cincinnati Reds' front offices.
Smith's role with the Red Sox will include working with minor league players in Fort Myers, Fla., with a focus on position players. But that role won't begin just yet, as Smith will continue working at her current job right up until MLB training camp begins in late February.
"Preparing for the season, I'm doing what I've been doing for the last several years: Just continuing to keep learning, continuing to keep researching, doing as much as I can," Smith said.
"I've still got several weeks here at Carroll, so I'll get to work with my players here. That will be great preparation. I'm going to be nonstop coaching for the next seven or eight weeks before I get started with the Red Sox."
The Miami Marlins' Kim Ng made history this offseason as MLB's first female general manager, while San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken became the first female coach to join an MLB staff last year. In 2021, it will be Smith's turn to chart a path for Black women in baseball.