The Rachel Balkovec bullet train continues to speed forward, and she encourages you to hop aboard.
“If you know my story and you have a pulse, I think it’s pretty hard not to get behind what’s going on here,” Balkovec said Wednesday during a Zoom news conference, as the Yankees formally introduced her as the manager of the Low-A Tampa Tarpons, making her affiliated baseball’s first full-time female skipper. “It’s the American dream. There’s definitely been some dark times that I’ve been able to overcome … that I think that everybody can enjoy a piece of my story.”
Her story featured considerable obstacles to get this far, she detailed Wednesday, a struggle that occurred less than 10 years ago: Progressing far down the road in pursuit of a job for a major league club that trains in Arizona, only to be told, “I’m really sorry, we’re not going to be able to hire you because you’re a woman.” Being “broke as a joke” as she worked as a waitress and applied for openings in baseball. Even temporarily changing her name on résumés to “Rae,” which at least generated a phone call from an interested party … who quickly lost interest upon learning “Rae” was a woman.
The tide turned when the Cardinals, who had employed her as an intern in their minor league system in 2012, offered her the position of minor league strength and conditioning coordinator for the 2014…