Rachel Balkovec wins debut as manager of Yankees affiliate
Rachel Balkovec debuted as the first woman to manage a minor league baseball team with a win on Friday night.
Driving the news: Balkovec led the Tampa Tarpons, the Single-A affiliate of the Yankees, to a 9-6 victory against the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
- "I've never heard my name chanted like that," Balkovec said, per MLB.
- "It was so much fun. Again, I just see, it's like I see me sitting in the stands, whatever 15, 20 years ago, and so it's just really cool."
- The Tarpons broke a 4-all tie in the seventh inning on a grand slam by Anthony Garcia, per MLB.
The big picture: Balkovec was named manager of the Tarpons in January.
- The Yankees hired Balkovec in November 2019 as a minor league hitting coach, when she became the first woman named to such a role in the history of professional baseball.
- Balkovec also was the first woman to become a full-time minor league strength and conditioning coach.
What she's saying: "It's been 10 years of just working to this point," Balkovec told reporters before the game.
- "Things have evolved. I was blatantly discriminated against back then. Some people say not to say that, but it's just part of what has happened, and I think it's important to say because it lets you know how much change has happened."