Claire Smith, Sportswriter.
During her time covering the Yankees she was the first female Major League Baseball beat writer. This week she was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, the top honor for a baseball writer, making her also the first woman to be voted into the writer’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
"Two words: Jackie Robinson. I was a child when my mother told me that story. And in those two words, I thought, this is a great country. Anything is possible. And within this sport, this sport taught this country how to grow up and move on. It integrated 20-some years before the United States of America.”
"I was in elementary school when the nuns at Saint James took a third-grade class down to the church in the basement of that Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, school, and showed us “The Jackie Robinson Story.” And Ruby Dee as Mrs. Rachel Robinson, and Jackie Robinson as Jackie Robinson, they took my breath away."
"They reminded me of my parents, young and proud. And I wanted to know more about this couple and that game and that man named Branch Rickey. I loved storytelling. My parents bought me an old Olympia typewriter and gave me paper as a child, a preteen. I loved pecking on that."
"But that story captured my imagination, and I still wear Jackie’s number a lot. I loved the idea of baseball and what it did for this country, what Jackie and the Dodgers did.”
KQED, Photograph via Baltimore Sun