Elyse Morris and Meisha Murray on the Inspiring Addition of Bianca Smith to the MLB


TORCH PHOTO / Brenden Willisch

Major League Baseball has been breaking barriers over the last year with multiple historic hires of women. Their latest new hire is Bianca Smith, the first Black female on-field coach for the Boston Red Sox.

Smith is now among the other remarkable women who are joining the management side of the MLB, such as Alyssa Nakken, who in July 2020 became  the first woman to coach on-field during a major league game, and Kim Ng, who was named the general manager of the Miami Marlins in November of 2020. 

Smith, a Paterson, New Jersey native, has been working in baseball management for many years. She held her own athletic career in high school and college softball, which she played at Dartmouth University.

“I am happy if my story can inspire other women, other women of color, other people of color, really anybody,” Smith said in an interview with ESPN. “I don’t want to put limits on it.” 

Meisha Murray, a junior utility player for the St. John’s Softball team is proud to have Smith represent the Black female community in professional sports. 

“The fact that a Black woman has changed history in the MLB and during Black History Month is absolutely incredible,” Murray said in an email to the Torch.

Murray shared her own struggles growing up as a Black woman in a predominantly white community. She felt different than her white friends and wanted to be more like them, and less like herself. As Murray got older and her community became more diverse, her appreciation for her culture grew, and she started to love who she was.

Seeing this Black female representation in professional sports has grown Murray’s love for her culture even more, and she rejoiced in the proud role model Smith has become for young Black girls who are potentially facing the same struggles she went through growing up.

“She has set an example for all the young Black girls in the world that we can do it,” Murray said. “We hold so much power, we are strong, and most importantly, we are proud to be who we are because I know, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.”

Murray’s teammate, Elyse Morris, shared similar feelings. Morris, a redshirt junior outfielder for the Red Storm, said that the increase of women in men’s sports is “awesome to see.”

“It shows that that glass ceiling is slowly being broken,” Morris said to the Torch. “We are proving to men, which we already knew ourselves, that we can do this job the same or better than they can.”

Morris also shed light on the harsh truths that many members of the Black community face every day.

“Personally, my parents always taught me that I had to be two to three times better just to be seen as equal,” she said. Because of this reality, Smith holding such a powerful ranking in the MLB is not only outstanding, but also inspiring to Black women and the Black community in America. 

“As Black women, we need to stick together and create the bond of sisterhood and let our voices be heard,” Murray said.

Black women, among all women across the world, have to prove themselves every day. It is often difficult to keep up in male-dominated fields, such as professional sports, but someone like Smith is proving they can.

“[As a woman] you have to put in twice the effort for people to realize ‘oh wow, Coach Smith, she’s awesome,’” Morris said.

Smith has held former positions in the management side of baseball, including her time with Carroll University as the Hitting Coach, as well as at Case Western University as the Director of Baseball Operations.

Smith’s passion and dedication for baseball has proven strong when working around men and has aided in her ability to shine among them. 

“[Smith] has shown that she has been around men for a while now and she has the head space to tolerate [it] and have that thicker skin,” said Morris.

Smith climbing to the top is a remarkable feat everyone can take inspiration from. Her determination to be successful sets a great example for women all around the world of all races that you can do anything you put your mind to.

“History has been made,” said Murray, “and we will continue to branch out our abilities and show the world that we are here to stay, and no one is going to be pushing us around anymore.”