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ESPN’s Inspiring Women Series: Meet Claire Smith

"I am a black woman who’s spent 37 years covering Major League Baseball in one capacity or another. I’m pretty sure I do not have a doppelgänger out there. "

Claire Smith (Illustration: Rachel Siegal/Photo: Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

EDITOR’S NOTE: In honor of Women’s History Month, ESPN Images and ESPN Internal Communications asked ESPN employees to nominate colleagues who inspired them. From hundreds of nominations, seven women were selected to share their stories in a series entitled “In Her Shoes.” Throughout March, Front Row will publish these profiles accompanied by Images’ photos. In this installment in the series, 12-year employee Claire Smith, coordinating editor and the 2017 recipient of the baseball media’s coveted J.G. Taylor Spink Award, explains what it means to be “In Her Shoes.”

What is your proudest moment at work this past year?
The opportunity to write the essays for our upcoming week-long on-air look at the impact of Jackie Robinson has to be No. 1! Shining a light on those whose contributions transcend statistics is my passion, and expanding how I might explore these subjects keeps me young.

What women inspire you the most and why?
My mother, Bernice Anastasia Smith. The daughter of Jamaican immigrants, she is the definition of “The American Dream,” because she used her brilliance, determination and energy to become a chemist. She worked on the technology that made space travel possible. She raised four children. She never let anyone tell her she couldn’t do just because of the color of her skin. She was not a hidden figure to me. She was my hero.

Melissa Rawlins and Joe Faraoni contributed to this post.

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