DENVER — Rachel Balkovec is nicely on her approach to leaving her mark on baseball.
On Sunday, nevertheless, baseball left her mark on her.
The Yankees’ minor league hitting coach grew to become the primary feminine coach to ever work the All-Star Futures Sport, teaching first base. Two batters into her milestone, Mariners outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic welcomed her with a foul ball that nailed the again of her left leg. She proudly displayed the seams on her individual.
“Fortunately it caught me within the meat and never on the shin,” Balkovec mentioned, “as a result of I might need been on the bottom.”
She obtained a standing ovation for taking such a success and staying upright, though she conceded afterward, “I blacked out from ache” and didn’t even know concerning the standing ‘O’.
That grew to become her second salute of the younger day, the primary coming throughout the pregame introductions, little question an acknowledgment of her breaking the baseball trade’s glass ceiling. Serving as a task mannequin for younger women and past is “a accountability,” Balkovec mentioned. “I give it some thought actually each single day. There’s not a day that doesn’t cross my thoughts and take into consideration my actions. … Every part I went by early in my profession, I had some hassle getting in, issues alongside the way in which which have occurred, makes it price it when you already know that you simply’re making change like that. … It’s undoubtedly one thing I don’t take frivolously.”
This chance arrived courtesy of long-time reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who pitched for the Yankees amongst many different groups and managed the AL membership (which misplaced, 8-3). Stated Balkovec: “LaTroy made me really feel at residence, giving me the chance to showcase who I’m as an individual.”
Extra such showcases can be coming, it certain seems. Hopefully much less painful, although, for everybody concerned.