New York Yankees’ Trailblazing Coach Shares Details of Scary Injury
Rachel Balkovec was about to make history.
With minor league spring training camp about to break, the New York Yankees' Class A affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons, were set for their home opener yesterday. In playing their home opener, Balkovec was set to manage the game, and become the first woman to manage a professional baseball game.
It was a date circled on the calendar by the baseball community for months, and a momentous occasion for equality in professional sports.
All of that was put on hold, however, and we now know just how scary the situation became for Rachel Balkovec.
Rachel Balkovec Was Hit by a Line Drive in Spring Training
In a scary incident on Tuesday, Balkovec was participating in a hitting drill at the Yankees' spring training facility, when she was struck in the face by a line drive. Balkovec was quickly taken to be seen by doctors, and while it was reported by The New York Post that she did not have a concussion, she was advised to rest for five-to-seven days.
Falling in that time frame, of course, was the home opener for her Tampa Tarpons.
Balkovec spoke to the public by way of a statement released by the team, in which she said that she was feeling "very fortunate" and would be following the advice of doctors in order to recover fully.
Here is the rest of the statement:
Days after the incident, Balkovec took to her personal Instagram page, and shared a photo of the recovery process. Within the photo, you can see exactly how scary of a situation this must have been.
View this post on Instagram
While no timeline was shared, it appears as though she's on the bend, and should be back in the dugout very soon.
More on Yankees' Minor League Coach, Rachel Balkovec
Balkovec played college softball at Creighton and the University of New Mexico. She earned two master's degrees, one from LSU, and the other from Vrije University in the Netherlands. She spent her first years of her professional baseball coaching career as a strength coach with the Johnson City Cardinals, the rookie league team of St. Louis.
In 2016, she was hired by the Houston Astros as a Latin American strength and conditioning coach in their minor league system, a job for which she had to learn how to speak Spanish. Following her stint in Houston, and her time in the Netherlands, the Yankees hired her as a hitting coach in late 2019.
It was on January 11, 2022, that she was named manager of the Tampa Tarpons, and hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later that she'll take the helm for the first time.