Rachel Balkovec makes history as first female manager of a minor league team

The New York Yankees have named Rachel Balkovec the manager of the Tampa Tarpons. This makes Balkovec the first female manager of a baseball team in affiliated professional baseball history. The news was first reported by The Athletic, and later confirmed by the MLB.

Balkovec joined the Yankees as a minor league hitting coach in November 2019. She got her first position in pro ball with the St. Louis Cardinals as a minor league strength and conditioning coach in 2012, according to ESPN.

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Balkovec has had a significant tenure in the sport. Previous to her work in the MLB, Balkovec was a softball catcher at Creighton and New Mexico.

Balkovec brings an encyclopedic, date driven knowledge to the Tarpons

In addition to working with the St. Louis Cardinals, Balkovec also worked with the Houston Astros. She was hired as the Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator, a position for which she learned Spanish, and later became the strength and conditioning coach at Double-A Corpus Christi, according to The Athletic.

She pursued a second master’s degree in 2018 at Vrije University in the Netherlands, where she also worked with the country’s national baseball and softball teams.

Balkovec went on to work for Driveline Baseball, a data-driven baseball center that has trained numerous major leaguers.

The Tampa Tarpons season will being in April 2022. The Tarpons play out of George M Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

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