NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The New York Yankees are making history with a new member of their coaching staff.

Rachel Balkovec is the first woman to become a full-time hitting coach with a major league team.

She holds two masters degrees in human movement science, and her expertise is data-driven.

Balkovec is working with players on things like eye tracking, ball spin and swing mechanics.

She said teams wouldn’t hire her at first, because she’s a woman. So she created a gender neutral resume, including changing her name to “Rae.”

The response was immediate.

“I said, ‘hello?’ And he said, ‘hey, can I speak to Rae?’ And I just was like, I remember my face, I was like, ‘this is she,’” Balkovec said. “You could hear ruffling of papers, and he said, ‘Oh sorry, I’m just trying to get the name right.’ And I just thought, ‘Oh no, you just didn’t know it was a girl.’”

She eventually ended up working in the minors as a strength coach with the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros organizations.

Now, she’s wearing pinstripes as part of the most successful franchise in major league history.


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