Claire Smith, a Temple University graduate and the first African-American female newspaper reporter to cover Major League Baseball on a daily basis, has won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, the top honor for a baseball writer.

She will be honored during induction weekend of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, July 28-31 in Cooperstown.

The Spink award is given out by the Baseball Writers Association of America "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing." The announcement came on Tuesday during the Winter Meetings.

Smith, who received 272 votes from 449 ballots, including three blanks, represented the New York chapter of the BBWAA.

Noted as a trailblazer for women in a field dominated by men, Smith fought for equal access to clubhouses. In 1984 she was physically removed by players while attempting to cover the National League Championship Series between the Padres and the Cubs. Bowie Kuhn, then commissioner, later referred to her as "the best baseball writer in America."

Smith, 62, is a two-time Pulitzer nominee and spent a decade as an editor and columnist with the Philadelphia Inquirer. She now works as an editor of remote productions for ESPN.

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