On Monday, the Yankees made a historic hire, promoting Rachel Balkovec to be the manager of the Low-A Tampa Tarpons, making her the first woman manager in affiliated professional baseball.
This is not the first time Balkovec has broken barriers: back in 2019, she became the first woman to become a minor league hitting coach. She has been in baseball for 10 years now, starting as a contract strength and conditional coach before finding her way to Driveline Baseball. She was a Division-I catcher on the softball teams at Creighton University and the University of Mexico and holds degrees in exercise science and kinesiology.
As the hitting coach for the Yankees’ Florida Complex League Yankees, she worked with some of the organization’s top young talent, including MLB.com’s 17th-best prospect Jasson Dominguez. In fact, she even learned Spanish on her own in order to better communicate with players whose first language is Spanish.
She was introduced on Wednesday and says she has aspirations to one day be a major-league general manager.
“I don’t think you sign your name on the dotted line to do something like this and then say, ‘Well, I don’t want to be a role model,’” Balkovec said. “I want to be a visible idea for young women.”
Brian Cashman spoke regarding the hire: “Who can we provide for our players that will help them develop to the best versions of themselves that they can possibly be? Rachel is going to be one of those people that are going to be impacting our Yankees players’ futures in such a positive way. She’s earned the opportunity, and the future will be what she makes it.”
You can watch the full press conference below.
Tune in now to watch Rachel Balkovec introduced as the @TampaTarpons manager for the upcoming season. Balkovec will be the first full-time female manager in the history of affiliated baseball at the Major or Minor League levels. https://t.co/qNcljr3qnZ
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) January 12, 2022