The New York Yankees are joining the movement in breaking down barriers for women in baseball. Earlier this month, the Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec as a roving minor-league hitting coach. This hiring is believed to be one of the first times a Major League Baseball (MLB) team has hired a woman to fill an on-field instruction role.
Yankees hitting coordinator, Dillion Lawson, met Balkovec while they were both working for the Houston Astros in 2016. Balkovec worked as the team’s Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator and taught herself Spanish to communicate better with the players. In 2018, Balkovec worked for the Astros’ Class AA Corpus Christi Hooks as a strength and conditioning coach.
Lawson stated that it was an easy decision to bring Balkovec to the team because she is a good hitting coach and a good coach overall. Balkovec was hired because of her qualifications, which include two master’s degrees in the science of human movement, and her experience at several minor league clubs.
Like the Yankees, other teams are hiring more women in an effort to diversify the league. This past Friday, the Chicago Cubs hired Rachel Folden, who will be joining the hitting lab for their rookie club in Arizona.
There is still much that needs to be done to bring more women into sports organizations like MLB, but the Yankees took a great first step in choosing Balkovec to join their team. All fans can look forward to seeing the diversification of the leagues occur in the future.