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Moving Ahead In The Action With . . . Claire Smith

As more live sports return to ESPN platforms, meet some of the people working to deliver these events to fans

(Photo: Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images/Illustration: Emily Archacki)

An unprecedented Major League Baseball season is set to begin tonight, July 23, exclusively on ESPN.

In celebration of baseball’s return, Front Row recognizes the efforts of coordinating editor and Baseball Hall Of Fame member Claire Smith.

Smith has served as coordinating editor for ESPN’s Major League Baseball coverage since 2007. Smith continues to make a profound impact on ESPN’s overall baseball operation. She informs all corners of this pillar property, including ESPN’s exclusive Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts and commentators.


A true pioneer, Smith was the first Black female reporter to cover Major League Baseball for a newspaper. During her storied career in journalism, Smith worked for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Hartford Courant before joining ESPN.

In 2017, Smith became the first woman inducted into the writers’ wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the J.G. Taylor Spink Award recipient.

Her role is more vital than ever given the daily nature of baseball and how news and information evolve at a rapid-fire pace amidst a global pandemic.

“Claire’s knowledge and dependability are two of the many attributes she possesses that make her an integral element of our baseball team,” said Tom Archer, ESPN coordinating producer. “She is endlessly valuable to our commentators and to our broadcasts overall. Claire is the consummate teammate.”

Claire Smith


Name: Claire Smith
Hometown/Residence: Ellington, Conn.
Role/Years at ESPN: Coordinating Editor, Universal News Gathering. 2007-present
Favorite Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Favorite Athlete: Jackie Robinson/Don Baylor/Sandy Koufax/Steve Garvey. Not a 1A among them.
The thing I’ve missed most: My incredible ESPN peers, the baseball writers. I’ve come of age in this business with so many wonderful, talented people, have drawn energy and inspiration from them for decades. Now, this confounding virus has us walled from each other. Miss them all terribly!
My favorite thing I’ve watched on ESPN and/or ESPN+ since the middle of March was .. . The KBO League – who knew? [ESPN play-by-play voice] Jon Sciambi’s interchangeable baseball backdrop and classic baseball games.

“MLB Opening Night telecast presented by John Deere” doubleheader exclusively on ESPN begins at 7 p.m. ET as the New York Yankees visit the World Series Champion Washington Nationals. At 10 p.m. ET, the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants.

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