Former Lobo Rachel Balkovec won’t be remembered for her only hit at UNM. But she will go down in history as the first woman hired by Major League Baseball as a hitting coach, and that’s as sweet as a swing that connects.
With only one hit over two seasons at UNM, Balkovec found working with weights more satisfying than softball. UNM’s weight room became the springboard for her career as an MLB strength and conditioning coach, but that wasn’t enough. The 32-year-old broke barriers when the New York Yankees hired her in November as a minor league hitting coach. Now, she’s helping players swing for the fences in the Gulf Coast rookie league in Tampa, Florida.
Balkovec has come a long way since waitressing and selling active wear just a few years ago. Her perseverance to the sport has paid off and shows what you can accomplish if you keep your eye on the ball.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.