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Baseball-Pioneer Balkovec ready to shake up the miners

To understand why Rachel Balkovec matters, you need one thing: “Impulse.”

That’s according to the woman herself, who this week became the first full-time female manager in affiliate baseball, after the New York Yankees promoted her to head of their Low-A affiliate, the Tampa. Tarpons. “If you know my story and you have a pulse, I think it’s pretty hard not to understand what’s going on here,” said Balkovec, who worked as a minor league batting coach for the Yankee organization. “It’s the American dream.”

The announcement shattered one of the most stubborn glass ceilings in North American professional sports and capped a long journey beyond the “dark times” of his career, when doors were closed solely because of his gender. . The 34-year-old has served as a strength and conditioning coach and coordinator of minor league programs with the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals organizations, as well as an apprentice hitting coach for the National Baseball and Softball Programs of the Countries. -Low.

“Three years ago that day I was sleeping on a mattress I had taken out of a dumpster in Amsterdam, and four years ago I was studying physics flashcards on the floor of a bathroom stall…because I couldn’t fit in the clubhouse,” she told reporters. Balkovec, who once changed her name from Rachel to “Rae” on her resume in an attempt to get called up for more interviews, believes there has been progress for women in sports.

“There were many times in my career where I felt really alone and I literally didn’t have anyone to call who had gone through the same experiences,” Balkovec said. “And now it’s like I have 100 women who are out there in various roles who (are going through) similar experiences, and it’s really amazing to have that kind of support from other people. who may understand your path.”

In November 2020, the Miami Marlins named Kim Ng as general manager, making her the first woman to hold such a position in Major League Baseball, after working as an executive in the office of the league commissioner for nearly of a decade. “When Kim Ng was hired as general manager of the Marlins ahead of the 2021 season, it was a significant step forward,” Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

“I’m happy to see that the game continues to make significant progress on various levels.” Balkovec, who played college softball at the University of New Mexico, plans to shake things up.

“One of my passions is creating a really competitive environment that is sometimes lost in the minor league system,” she said. “While winning may not matter as much as major league level, making every day count and every practice count is really what I’m passionate about.”

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)