Claire Smith, Journalistic trailblazer/ESPN.com editor

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This might be the most important podcast I’ve recorded to date. Claire Smith, formerly of the New York Times and currently of ESPN.com, is a trailblazer in our journalism world. In the 1970s and 1980s, she was one of the first female reporters to enter a baseball clubhouse, and she had to traverse a rocky road to do her job at the time. During our discussion, we chat about the recent ESPN documentary “Let Them Wear Towels” and why it was so important, the fine line she had to walk between sticking up for herself and not becoming part of an explosive story, and whether female reporters will ever get 100 percent equal treatment.

Plus, you MUST hear the story of how she was physically removed from the Padres clubhouse during the playoffs in 1984 and how that incident shaped her then and how it continues to shape her. It is an amazing tale, and quite frankly, Smith is an amazing (and brave) journalist.

A few days ago, Smith tweeted this to me:

Of course, she’s got it wrong. It was me who was honored to have her grace my podcast.

My favorite quote came when she was discussing her trailblazing colleagues, who paved the way for those who came afterward: “Being able to pick up the phone and talk to Jane Gross, or Melissa Ludtke or Lisa Olson, that made the world then. It means even more now. I look around the group and all I see are survivors and some of the greatest people I’ve ever known in my life.”

Interviewed on 12-19-13

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