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Rachel Balkovec cheered, wins debut managing Yanks affiliate

Rachel Balkovic smiling
Gregory Bull
New York Yankees minor league hitting coach Rachel Balkovec speaks to reporters during the Major League Baseball winter meetings, Dec. 10, 2019, in San Diego. The New York Yankees are promoting Balkovec to manager at Low A Tampa, making her the first woman to skipper a team affiliated with Major League Baseball.

Rachel Balkovec was a winner as the first woman to manage a minor league affiliate of a Major League Baseball team.

Working for the New York Yankees, she guided the Tampa Tarpons over Lakeland 9-6 Friday night in the Class A Florida State League. The 34-year-old Balkovec drew cheers and chants from the crowd in her debut.

The Yankees announced her hiring as a minor league manager in January. She was a former softball catcher at Creighton and New Mexico. She previously worked for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros.

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