Rachel Balkovec lives the ‘American dream’ with New York Yankees

Rachel Balkovec is aware of the negative comments on her social networks but does not want to get into controversy. Her sisters have seen them too and seek to ignore the disparaging reactions to the breakdown of the gender barrier in the managerial position.

“It makes me laugh,” Balkovec said. “Because this is the American dream.”

And in the clubhouse? He has not sensed such a toxic reaction in the least.

Balkovec was introduced Wednesday as a new manager for the New York Yankees affiliate in the Class A affiliate of the Florida State League. Taking the reins of the Tampa Tarpons, Balkovec will be the first female manager in the history of Major League Baseball.

It is an appointment that took 10 years to develop for a woman who played softball at her old college.

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“If you know the story and your heart beats, I think it is very difficult not to support what is happening here,” he said.

Nearly a decade after changing her name on her resume to hide her gender and dabble in baseball, the 34-year-old manager has broken down several barriers on the way to her new job. She was the first woman to serve full-time as a strength and conditioning coach in the minor leagues.

Right there, she was also the first to permanently hold a hitting coach job.

The new promotion comes a year after former Yankees employee Kim Ng became Major League Baseball’s first general manager with the Miami Marlins. And mark a different step.

Balkovec will be in charge of the clubhouse in Tampa, tasked with overseeing the development of future major league players for one of the most famous sports franchises in the world.

“The players I’ve worked with, whether or not they like me or what I say, respect me. Yes, I think so ”, he indicated.

She has earned that respect by following an unusual path — one that didn’t exist 20 years ago, but not just because of her gender.

A former softball catcher in Creighton and New Mexico, Balkovec received a master’s degree in kinesiology from LSU and a master’s degree in human motor science from Vrije University in the Netherlands. He worked in strength and conditioning training with the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros since 2012, when he came to professional baseball, and also spent time at Driveline Baseball, a data-driven center that has trained numerous Major League Baseball players. Suspenders.

She is an expert in sports performance science, precisely something that teams covet.

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