Saturday brought me to the place I normally sit during the summer months in Buffalo -- the Coca-Cola Field press box. Another day, another baseball game, and another chance to write about the sport and the people who make it happen.
Meanwhile, in Cooperstown, Claire Smith was being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for her contributions to baseball writing.
Without her, I wouldn't be able to be sitting in that press box or be allowed to interviews in the clubhouse after the game. Without her, I wouldn't be able to do my job.
“I humbly stand on stage for those who were stung by racism or sexism or any other insidious bias and persevered,” Smith said during the ceremony at Doubleday Field. “You are unbreakable. You make me proud.”
Smith broke down barriers with persistence and insistence throughout her three decades of baseball writing. Her professionalism won over players and managers. Her skill paved the way for women like me to write about baseball with the same access our male counterparts receive. And through that we started to gain the same respect, too.
The honor at Cooperstown only cements the legacy for which so many of us are grateful.