Claire Smith (journalist)

Last updated
Claire Smith
Born1954/1955(age 65–66) [1]
Langhorne, Pennsylvania
OccupationSportswriter
Alma mater Pennsylvania State University
Temple University
Notable awards J. G. Taylor Spink Award (2017)

Claire Smith (born c. 1954) is an American sportswriter, best known for covering Major League Baseball for the Hartford Courant , The New York Times , and The Philadelphia Inquirer . She is currently a news editor for ESPN. Smith was the first woman to be honored with the J. G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Contents

Biography

Smith was born in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Neshaminy High School. Her mother, Bernice, was a chemist who worked for General Electric. Smith credits her for sparking an interest in baseball, especially for Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers. Smith's father, William, was an illustrator and sculptor. Smith attended the Pennsylvania State University and then Temple University, getting her first journalism job with the Bucks County Courier Times . [2]

She covered the New York Yankees from 1983 to 1987 as the first female Major League Baseball beat writer, working for the Hartford Courant . She later worked as a columnist for The New York Times from 1991 to 1998, and was an editor and columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1998 to 2007.

External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg This baseball writer is in a league of her own, PBS NewsHour [3]

After the first game of the 1984 National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field, the San Diego Padres physically removed Smith, then working for the Hartford Courant, from the visitors' clubhouse despite a National League rule requiring equal access to all properly accredited journalists during the playoffs. San Diego first baseman Steve Garvey left the clubhouse, told her she still had a job to do, and proceeded with an interview. Newly appointed Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth declared a new rule the next day requiring equal access for all major league locker rooms. [4] [5]

Smith was the 2017 recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, [5] bestowed annually by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) with recipients honored during ceremonies at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Smith was the first woman to receive the Spink Award. [6]

Smith was the subject of A League of Her Own, a short biographical documentary that was screened in 2018 at the Hall of Fame's annual Baseball Film Festival. The film was narrated by Jackie Robinson's daughter Sharon. [7]

Honors

Claire Smith was elected the 2017 recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) on December 6, 2016. [8] [9] She is the first woman, and fourth African-American, [10] to receive this award, the BBWAA's highest honor, presented annually since 1962 for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” The award is permanently celebrated in the "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit in the Library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. [11]

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References

  1. Chandler, D. L. (July 28, 2017). "Little Known Black History Fact: Claire Smith". blackamericaweb.com. Retrieved February 28, 2021.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. Fitzpatrick, Frank (December 6, 2016). "Inquirer alum Claire Smith first woman to win baseball's prestigious Spink Award". Philly.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved December 7, 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. "This baseball writer is in a league of her own". PBS NewsHour. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "This baseball writer is in a league of her own". PBS NewsHour. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) at time 3:30-5:30
  5. 1 2 Ackert, Kristie (December 7, 2016). "Proud to stand with Claire Smith as pioneer gets her Hall call". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 7, 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. "Claire Smith 1st Female Spink Award Winner". baseballhall.org. December 6, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2021.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. "Claire Smith's Inspiring Story a Hit at Film Festival". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved October 17, 2020. "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit in the Library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
  8. Calcaterra, Craig (December 6, 2014). "Claire Smith becomes the first woman to win the BBWAA's Spink Award". NBCSports.com. Retrieved December 6, 2014.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. "CLAIRE SMITH 1ST FEMALE SPINK AWARD WINNER" (Press release). Cooperstown, New York: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2017-08-02.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. Crouse, Karen (2017-07-29). "For Female Baseball Reporter, Writing About, and Making, History". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-08-02. On Saturday, she will become the first woman, and fourth African-American, voted...CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. "J.G. Taylor Spink Award". Hall of Famers - Hall of Fame Awards. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved October 17, 2020. "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit in the Library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.