Jean Afterman Wins Baseball America's Trailblazer of the Year Award

Max Goodman

Baseball America announced Monday it will honor Yankees assistant general manager and senior vice president Jean Afterman as the first-ever Trailblazer of the Year.

Afterman was appointed as Brian Cashman's assistant in 2001, replacing Kim Ng, and added senior vice president to her title in 2012.

"If I am a trailblazer, I hope I have blazed a trail others will follow," Afterman told Baseball America as she was informed she would be honored. "I hope a lot more women will work in baseball operations."

She also praised Cashman and the late George Steinbrenner for doing some trailblazing of their own by hiring "not one but two females as assistant GMs."

This comes less than two weeks after the New York Times reported that the Yankees had hired Rachel Balkovec as a minor-league hitting coach. Balkovec, 32, is believed to be the first woman to serve as a full-time hitting coach in the history of professional baseball.

As part of Baseball America's announcement, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner called Afterman "an essential member of the Yankees’ baseball operations department" after almost two decades of vital contributions to some of the organizations most complex and notable acquisitions.

"A vocal and trusted leader within our organization, Jean’s formidable reputation within our sport is well earned," he said. Her engaging personality, bulldog tenacity and top-notch legal expertise combine to make her a unique talent who we have been proud to have on our side all these years.”

Prior to working with the Yankees, Afterman had a legal practice and provided representation to athletes -- many from outside the United States. Now, as of 2015, she works on the advisory committee for Major League Baseball’s Diversity Pipeline program which hopes to increase the presence of minorities and women in jobs across the industry.

In 2017, YES Network profiled Afterman. Here, she speaks about her role on a daily basis, the relationships she's fostered along the way and how her unique, active approach helps her keep up with how baseball front offices are constantly evolving.

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