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Rachel Balkovec becomes first female Minor League Baseball team manager

Rachel Balkovec becomes first female Minor League Baseball team manager
New Tampa Tarpons manager Rachel Balkovec will become the first woman in history to manage an MLB-affiliated team when she takes over in 2022 with the Tampa Tarpons. Photo by Rachel Balkovec/Instagram

Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Former college softball catcher Rachel Balkovec will make history as the first woman to manage a team affiliated with Major League Baseball, taking over the Low-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, she confirmed.

Sources told The Athletic on Sunday that the Yankees hired Balkovec to manage the Tampa Tarpons. Balkovec confirmed that report Sunday night on Twitter.

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Balkovec, 34, was hired in 2019 as a Yankees minor league hitting coach. She previously worked within the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros organizations.

Balkovec was a catcher at Creighton and New Mexico before she joined the Cardinals in 2012 as an intern. She was later named Appalachian League Strength Coach of the Year.

The Cardinals named Balkovec their minor league strength and conditioning coordinator in 2014, making her the first woman to be hired as a full-time coordinator in professional baseball.

The Tarpons still listed David Adams as their manager Monday morning on their official website. It is unclear if Adams will remain with the Yankees organization or take a new role elsewhere.

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Adams was named Tarpons manager in 2020, but that season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He led the Tarpons to a 73-43 record in 2021. The Tarpons led the Low-A Southeast League with 766 run scored and a +220 run differential.

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