NEW YORK (AP) – Rachel Balkovec became the first woman hired to manage a minor league affiliate of a Major League Baseball team when she was promoted Tuesday by the New York Yankees to boss of the Low In Tampa Tarpons.
The 34-year-old joined the Yankees organization as a batting coach in 2019, making her the first woman to hold that full-time position in affiliate baseball. She secured her first position in professional ball with the St. Louis Cardinals as a minor league strength and conditioning coach in 2012.
Balkovec, a former softball receiver in Creighton and New Mexico, moved from the Cardinals to the Houston Astros in 2016. She was hired as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Latin America, a position for which she learned spanish, then developed into strength and conditioning. coach at Double-A Corpus Christi.
She briefly left baseball in 2018 to pursue a second master’s degree at the University of Vrije in the Netherlands, where she also worked with the country’s national baseball and softball teams. She then worked for Driveline Baseball, a data center that trained many major leagues, before being hired by New York.
“I see my background as an advantage,” she told The Associated Press in 2019. “I probably had to do a lot more than maybe a male counterpart, but I like it because I’m so much better. prepared for any challenges I may encounter. “
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