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Former Astros conditioning coach makes history as first woman hired full-time as hitting coach by MLB team

Rachel Balkovec has climbed the ranks of the MLB

New York Yankees minor league hitting coach Rachel Balkovec speaks to reporters during the Major League Baseball winter meetings Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in San Diego. Balkovec is believed to be the first woman hired as a full-time hitting coach by a major league organization. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
New York Yankees minor league hitting coach Rachel Balkovec speaks to reporters during the Major League Baseball winter meetings Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in San Diego. Balkovec is believed to be the first woman hired as a full-time hitting coach by a major league organization. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – Rachel Balkovec is making history.

The Yankees hired Balkovec, making her the first woman hired as a full-time hitting coach by an MLB team. Balkovec previously served as the strength and conditioning coach for the Astros Class AA Corpus Christi Hooks.

The 32-year-old told NBC News’ Catie Beck, she truly hit a home run with this job. At first, no one would even look at her resume.

“I applied for jobs and just got crickets,” Balkovec said.

Rachel started writing her name as “Ray” instead of Rachel on the resume she was sending out. That led to interviews, but she still had organizations telling her they couldn’t hire her due to her gender once they found out she was a woman. That is, until her former coworker with the Astros Dillon Lawson extended the invite to join the Yankees.

“You spend an hour with Rachel, you understand her value," Lawson said.

Balkovec said being a woman has made her work harder. Now? She’s living her dream.

“It’s my dream to be able to empower people so yeah, it could have been many things, it could have been any profession baseball is the vehicle for empowering other people, that’s it," Balkovec said.