Yankees hire Rachel Balkovec as first female minor-league skipper

The New York Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec to manage the Single-A Tampa Tarpons next season, making her the first woman to manage a minor-league affiliate, according to a report from The Athletic on Sunday night.

Balkovec, 34, is no stranger to making history. She started her career with the St. Louis Cardinals as a minor-league strength and conditioning coach in 2012, and she later became the Houston Astros’ Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator. Later, she served in the same role with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.

Most recently, Balkovec served as a minor-league hitting coach for the Yankees.

Before becoming a coach, Balkovec played catcher on the softball teams at Creighton and New Mexico.

The report marks the latest step forward for women in professional baseball. In 2020, the Miami Marlins announced that Kim Ng would be the first female general manager in major-league history. Then in 2021, Bianca Smith became the first Black woman to coach in pro baseball when the Boston Red Sox hired her as a minor-league coach.