Claire Smith Becomes First Female Writer to Win Baseball Hall of Fame Award
ESPN's Claire Smith became the first woman to win the prestigious J.G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. A trailblazer for women in sports media, Smith will have a permanent place in the writers and broadcasters section of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where she will be honored next July.
For more than 30 years, she has written about sports for publications like Philadelphia Bulletin, The New York Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Smith, along with her fellow female sportswriters at that time, fought for equal treatment during her entire career. She would frequently receive offensive resistance from athletes and coaches as they continued to fight for equal access to professional and college locker rooms.
According to the National Association of Black Journalists, she often refers to a defining moment at the 1984 National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres when she was physically removed by players from the Padres clubhouse after Game One.
Earlier this month she received her award and upon the honor being announced, Smith called up all of the female writers in attendance to stand with her. She also thanked all the male baseball writers in attendance for standing with them during that difficult period.
"I want to thank you as well as the women who walked the walk and fought the battles and got all of us to this point," Smith said. "No one does this by themselves."
Photo Credit: AP/Alex Brandon