Fresh on the heels of the first woman to pitch in modern professional baseball (a scoreless inning for Genevieve Beacom!), and Sara Goodrum becoming the Director of Player Development for the Astros, there’s more history to share.
Affiliated baseball’s first female manager, Rachel Balkovec:
Sources: Rachel Balkovec, who joined the Yankees organization as a minor-league hitting coach in 2019, will serve as the manager for the Low A Tampa Tarpons next season.
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) January 9, 2022
Rachel Balkovec will become the next manager of the Low A Tampa Tarpons, per @lindseyadler
She will be the first woman to manage a minor league baseball team 🙌 pic.twitter.com/CmfI1KY6Is
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) January 10, 2022
Balkovec will be the first female minor league manager in MiLB’s history, leading the Yankees’ Low-A affiliate in Tampa. This is a big moment for the sport, which has been coming around to the idea that women can serve in these roles over the last few years. More on Balkovec’s new gig here at The Athletic.
The Cubs are among the few organizations that employ a woman in a coaching role, with Rachel Folden serving as the hitting coach in the ACL. By all accounts, that hire has been a huge success. I hope that’s just a start, for a number of reasons.
Like I said before on this topic: “Even if you just want to be cynical, consider that there is a huge pool of talent – coaching, and development, and R&D, and front office – that has barely been considered over the past couple decades. The organizations that do a good job pulling in more of the best women for key roles are going to have more success over the next couple decades (you’re going to have a better shot at getting the best of the best if you have good systems in place now). It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do.”
It’s an opportunity to get more talent, and put them in the right positions to succeed for the betterment of your organization. I love seeing more organizations do this, and more women getting a shot. I hope the Cubs stay proactive on this front, both because I think it’s cool on a personal level, but also because I think there’s probably an edge available if you stay out ahead of it.
More from Balkovec and Folden here: