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MLB Network: Women on the Field

On International Women's Day, MLB looks at the increasing role they play in baseball - including an Arizona connection.

Rachel Balkovec at Yankees Training Camp Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

If you enjoyed Justin27's recent Fanpost which talked about women in baseball, you'll probably find this of interest. For International Women’s Day tod, MLB Network will debut a new program at 5 pm (Arizona time) featuring interviews with a number of female coaches across Major League organizations. Particularly of interest to Diamondbacks fans will be Ronnie Gajownik. She works on the coaching staff for our High-A affiliate, the Hillsboro Hops - looks like she has a special emphasis on the tech side, such as the use of Trackman.

The program is called “MLB Tonight: A Conversation”, featuring Women on the Field, and it’s co-hosted by Lauren Gardner and Amy Gutierrez. Among the women included in the program are the following:

  • Rachel Balkovec, Low-A Tampa Tarpons manager (pictured, top)
  • Alyssa Nakken, San Francisco Giants assistant coach
  • Veronica Alvarez, Oakland Athletics minor league instructor
  • Rachel Folden, ACL Chicago Cubs hitting coach
  • Ronnie Gajownik, Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League coach
  • Bianca Smith, Boston Red Sox Minor League coach
  • Katie Krall, Boston Red Sox development coach

Here’s a clip from the program featuring Balkovec, the first woman to work as a full-time manager of a major league-affiliated team.

Did a bit more research on Gajownik, who played for the USA women’s national baseball team. She was part of the roster in the 2015 Pan-American Games, where women's baseball made its debut, and Team USA won the gold. She then became an assistant at Liberty University, followed by a position as hitting and outfield coach at the University of Massachusetts, before joining the Hops, initially as an intern, in April 2021. She was also a video coordinator in the AFL last fall.

Should make for an interesting show.