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The First Black Woman to Coach in Pro Baseball Thanks Her Mom for the Job

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When Bianca Smith landed a job as a minor league coach in the Boston Red Sox organization, becoming the first Black woman to coach professional baseball, she thought about her mother.

Her mom died of cancer in 2013 and would have been proud of her daughter’s achievement. But also furious. Dawn Patterson had particularly strong feelings about the Red Sox.

She despised them.

Patterson was a lifelong Yankees fan and hated their rivals so much that when Smith won tickets to Red Sox games while in college at Dartmouth — awarded to students who attended the most varsity sporting events — she would get angry that her daughter would even consider the trip.

“Mom, but these are, like, free baseball tickets,” Smith remembered saying, emphasizing that the offer was too good to pass up.

The steadfast reply: “No!”

It’s a family joke now that Smith, who was hired in January, is making history with the team her mother could not stand.

“If I get a job with the Red Sox, Mom is going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” Smith recalled telling her youngest brother after the team first reached out to her last fall.

But without her mother’s influence, Smith might not be a baseball pioneer right now, a groundbreaker just months after Kim Ng was named general manager of the Miami Marlins, becoming the first woman in Major League Baseball to hold the title.

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Kevin Miyazaki for The New York Times

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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