When I covered baseball, a lovely lady named Claire Smith befriended me and showed me the ropes. There weren’t many of us then — Lisa Nehus Saxon covered the superstar-laden Angels, Claire the always tumultuous Yankees and I the Oakland A’s of Bash Brother fame. Now there are more, and Claire remains among baseball scribes in her role as an editor at ESPN.
At Cooperstown in July, she’ll be presented with the highest honor a baseball writer can receive, the Spink Award. It’s determined by a vote of the Baseball Writers Association of America “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing,” and Claire of course is the first woman recipient of the 55-year-old award.
Congratulations to Claire. Here’s a wonderful profile of her by Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant, where Claire was working when I first knew her: An Angel Entering The Hall Of Fame As Claire Smith Heads To Cooperstown