First-ever female skipper named for Arizona Diamondbacks High-A minor league team

Gajownik was previously the first base coach for the Diamondbacks Double-A team, the Amarillo...
Gajownik was previously the first base coach for the Diamondbacks Double-A team, the Amarillo Sod Poodles, then joined the Salt River Rafters.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:03 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- History for the Arizona Diamondbacks is being made off the baseball diamond as players and coaches gear up for the start of the season. On Friday, the Diamondbacks named Ronnie Gajownik manager of the Hillsboro Hops, the team’s High-A minor league team. Gajownik is the second female minor league skipper and the first at the High-A level!

Gajownik was previously the first base coach for the Diamondbacks Double-A team, the Amarillo Sod Poodles, then joined the Salt River Rafters. She will take over for ex-manager Vince Harrison, who will be joining the Cincinnati Reds.

Gajownik won’t be the only woman in the dugout for minor league teams. She joins Rachel Balkovec, who became the first minor league baseball manager after the New York Yankees named her skipper of their Class-A team, the Tampa Tarpons, in 2022. “All the people before me were just in a really long relay race. Rachel [Balkovec] had the baton and I’m running after her and I’m grabbing it. We’re going to constantly be passing it to one another saying, ‘hey, how far can you get?’ As long as we keep passing that baton onto the next one, we’re going to be able to go really, really far,” Gajownik told MLB. In 2022, 11 women were coaches in the minors, and it seems the number may continue growing.