Claire Smith 1st woman to win Hall of Fame's Spink Award

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) Claire Smith is the first woman to win the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing and will be honored during the Hall of Fame's induction weekend next July in Cooperstown, New York.

The 62-year-old Smith covered the New York Yankees for the Hartford Courant for five years starting in 1983 and was a columnist for The New York Times from 1991-98 and The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1998-2007. She currently is ESPN's news editor of remote productions.

Smith appeared on 272 of 449 ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America with 10 or more consecutive years of membership in totals announced Tuesday at the winter meetings.

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Jim Reeves, a columnist and baseball writer during a 40-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, received 118 votes and Juan Vene, a longtime reporter and broadcaster, was on 56. There were three blanks.

The Spink Award was first given in 1962. Next year's Hall induction weekend is scheduled for July 18-21.

Former Commissioner Bud Selig and former Kansas City and Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz will be inducted along with any players elected Jan. 18.