For the first time in a while, Bianca Smith will have one job this upcoming MLB season.
Over her past 11 or so years breaking into the sport, the Sewickley-born 29-year-old has done videography, helped out in press boxes, worked in front offices and been an assistant athletic director, among other things.
In many cases, those were the tasks Smith was explicitly hired to do, only finding her way to the baseball field after cold-emailing a coach at the three colleges she’s worked for or slowly expanding her role to include on-field baseball work.
“Several of my positions were positions that didn’t exist until I got there,” Smith said. “And not only did I help create them, but I expanded them based on what I believed I brought value and how I could actually help.”
Now, she’s been hired by the Boston Red Sox to work at their player development complex in Fort Myers, Fla., with a focus on position players. It makes her the first Black woman to hold an on-field coaching position in the history of professional baseball.
But despite her undeniable status as a ‘first,’ it’s not like Smith is surprised she’s made it here, even if she wasn’t always certain this was the path she wanted to take.
Those who have worked with her in the past aren’t surprised, either. They know firsthand the work she’s put in and how she can quickly help a program, and the players within it, for the better.
Smith was born in Sewickley, but most of her upbringing took place in Grapevine, Texas. She moved there when she was just 6 or 7 years old, but her stepfather’s family remained in Sewickley and he lives there today, so her Pittsburgh roots are still planted.
She’s worked in a sporting goods store in the area and even interned for the defunct arena football league team, the Pittsburgh Power, at one time.