Yankees makes historic move in huge moment for women in baseball
Women representation in Major League Baseball has been historically scarce. However, with the New York Yankees’ latest move, that may soon change.
The Yankees promoted former hitting coach Rachel Balkovec to the manager role in their Low-A affiliate Tampa Tarpons. This move marks the first time a woman will assume full-time managerial roles in an MLB-affiliated league.
The New York Yankees are making a historic hire in MiLB.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 10, 2022
Balkovec has a long history before coming to the Yankees. The now Tarpons manager previously served as the strength and conditioning coach in Houston and St. Louis’ minor league affiliate. Balkovec also has history as the skill acquisition coach of the Dutch national team, and has coaching in the Australian baseball league.’
Balkovec was hired back in 2020 by the Yankees as their hitting coach, the first time in MLB history that a woman was assigned that role full-time. Her stellar coaching caught the eye of the MLB, as she was awarded with an opportunity to coach in the Futures game. Speaking about that opportunity, Balkovec said this: (via CBS Sports)
“I’ve been in the game for more than 10 years, so this is something that’s been a long time coming. My first reaction was to make sure that this is something I have earned and that I’m getting it for the right reasons, not maybe just because of my gender.”
Obviously, no one wants to be hired solely to be forced representation. By all accounts, though, Rachel Balkovec has earned this spot in the eyes of the Yankees. This will hopefully be the first step for the MLB to find more spaces to represent women in their sport, as they are looking at another lockout-shortened season.