rachel balkovec

New York Yankees First Major League Team to Hire Female Batting Coach

Rachel Balkovec scored a home run without even picking up a bat. She is believed to be the first woman hired by a major league team as a full-time minor league hitting coach.

But the new hire by the New York Yankees says her road was often blocked by teams reluctant to hire a female for the position.

"I applied for a bunch of jobs and crickets, Balkovec told NBC News. "I got nothing back."

After changing the name on her resume from "Rachel" to "Ray" the phone miraculously started ringing, but the offers were still slow to arrive for the strength and condition coach. So, she bided her time earning two Master's degrees while breaking through in the minor leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals and later the Houston Astros.

"It's an advantage I was discriminated against because I had to work harder," she said.

Now on staff with Yankees, Balkovec said she hopes her hire will have an inspirational effect on other women hoping to chase their dreams in professional baseball.

"It's my dream to be able to empower people, she said. "Baseball is the vehicle for empowering other people."

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