The MLB's ongoing lockout has put the offseason in a stand-still, but that didn't stop the Yankees from making a ground-breaking move on Sunday.
The team is reportedly hiring Rachel Balkovec as the manager of the club's Low-A affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons, according to of The Athletic. The move will make Balkovec the first woman to ever serve as the manager of a minor league team.
Balkovec joined the Yankees organization in 2019 as a minor-league hitting coach. The former softball player has worked in major league organizations for much of the past decade. She was previously a strength and conditioning coach for the Astros' Double-A affiliate, and has also worked for the White Sox and Cardinals.
Balkovec has not been shy about her aspirations to one day lead a major-league front office. After the Marlins hired Kim Ng as the first-ever woman GM in MLB history, Balkovec pointed to Ng as an inspiration, as well as assistant general managers Raquel Ferreira and Jean Afterman of the Red Sox and Yankees, respectively.
“[Ng] has been deeply impactful to me,” Balkovec told SI's Stephanie Apstein in November 2020. “I don’t think she even really knows that. She and Raquel and Jean have really impacted my idea of what’s possible for me.”
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