The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This past Wednesday was National Women and Girls in Sports Day. As a woman hoping to one day work in the sports field, it was incredibly inspiring to see all the amazing women who are making an impact on the sports world forever. One of the women who really stood out to me was Rachel Balkovec. Balkovec was a catcher at Creighton and New Mexico, and along with her talent on the field, she has a master’s degree in Kinesiology from LSU and a master’s in human movement sciences from Vrije University.
All of her hard work over the course of her college career paid off, as Balkovec is currently the minor league manager for the New York Yankees, but the road to get there was not easy for her. For years she disguised her gender by switching her name from Rachel to Rae, which is a more masculine name. That simple switch had MLB managers on the phone. Ever since then she has been demolishing gender norms in the sports world.
Brian Cashman, the General Manager for the Yankees, has praised Balkovec’s work method, drive, and perserverance. Not only is she gaining respect from baseball fans across the globe, she has gained the respect of the players in the clubhouse. Balkovec has continually stated how excited she is for this new chapter in her life, saying that she is living the “American dream.” In an interview with ESPN she said, “My goal is really to know the names of the girlfriends, the dogs, the families of all the players. My goal is to develop them as young men and young people who have an immense amount of pressure on them. My goal is to support the coaches that are on the staff.”
As the baseball season is starting to creep closer and closer, I am looking forward to seeing all that Balkovec accomplishes during this upcoming season. The future is bright for women in sports, and this is only the beginning.