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The Women Behind MLB

In Major League Baseball, you often see men. Whether it's the managers, coaches, or other men who work for the teams, it is not often that you see the hardworking women in MLB. Here are some of the many women who work, or have worked,  behind the scenes in the league.

Rachel Balkovec - Miami Marlins

Photo courtesy of @rachel.balkovec on Instagram

Balkovec started off working for the Houston Astros as their Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator. Balkovec was the first woman in MLB to hold that position. In 2019 she started as a hitting coach for the New York Yankees’  minor league team, the Tampa Tarpons. She became the first full-time female hitting coach in all of minor league baseball. In January 2024, Balkovec became the director of player development for the Miami Marlins. 

Alyssa Nakken - San Francisco Giants

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated 

When Nakken first started with the Giants in 2014, she came in as an intern. Once she earned her Master’s degree from the University of San Francisco, the Giants put her on as an assistant coach. This made her the first woman to become a full-time coach in the major league. Nakken became the first woman to coach on the field in a regular season MLB game.

Bianca Smith - Boston Red Sox 

Photo courtesy of News One

Smith started her professional baseball career when she interned for the Texas Rangers and later, MLB corporate headquarters. In 2019, Smith worked for the Cincinnati Reds as a baseball operations trainee. She then became a minor league coach for the Red Sox, making her the first African American woman to coach in professional baseball. in 2023, Smith declined the Red Sox's offer to return to look for more opportunities. 

Jenny Cavnar - Oakland Athletics 

Photo courtesy of NBC News

Cavnar is the A’s primary play-by-play commentator. In 2007, she was hired by the news channel, Channel 4 San Diego, to do pregame and postgame for the San Diego Padres. In 2012, Cavnar became the host of pregame and postgame shows for the Colorado Rockies. In 2015, she then went on to be the first woman to do National League color commentary on the radio. In February 2024, she became the first woman to be a primary announcer for an MLB team. 

Suzyn Waldman - New York Yankees

Photo courtesy of the New York Post

Waldman started working in sports broadcasting in the 1990s. She is considered to be a pioneer in the sports broadcasting world for women. Waldman started off by being a full-time play-by-play announcer for the Yankees on WPIX. In 2005, she began doing color commentary with John Sterling for the Yankees, making her the first woman to do full-time color commentary. She was also the first woman to do play-by-play for a nationally televised MLB game.

Edited by Shaniya Scales

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