The Hillsboro Hops, the High-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, have promoted Ronnie Gajownik to manager for the 2023 season.
Gajownik is the second woman to be a manager in professional baseball — the New York Yankees’ Tampa Tarpons Low-A hired Rachel Balkovec to manage their club last year.
Gajownik is now the first woman to be a High-A level manager.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE AT FOXNEWS.COM
“It’s great to have this opportunity, especially with the Diamondbacks,” Gajownik said in a statement. “They saw my potential in me as a coach and as a person and then obviously took that chance with me last year. So this opportunity means a lot to me. I hope everyone involved with me and also hopefully all the little girls and women who see this know that if you’re qualified, you can do it. And… that’s all you need. If you’re qualified, you can go ahead and do whatever you’re passionate about.”
“On behalf of the entire organization, we congratulate Ronnie on this significant milestone as she becomes Minor League Baseball’s second female team manager and at the highest level of development,” said the President and CEO. Arizona team management Derrick Hall. “We look forward to seeing her continued growth in player development as she shapes and develops the future stars of D-backs, while continuing to be a tremendous point of pride for the company.”
Diamondbacks farm manager Josh Barfield cited Gajownik’s leadership qualities and baseball experience as why she got the job. She served as first base coach for the Double-A Amarillo Sod Poodles last year after original first base coach Javier Colina required surgery.
AL BATTING CHAMPION TRADE TO MARLINS TO BOOST ROTATION: REPORTS
“It was just his knowledge of the game,” Barfield said. “She had a background as a player. And the way she is able to communicate – the hunger she possessed, the desire to learn and grow – it all stood out.”
Gajownik spent the 2021 season as a video assistant with Hillsboro and won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am as part of Team USA’s women’s baseball team. Last fall, she coached the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League.
“She came out and it took her about two seconds to fit right into the group,” Barfield added of Gajownik who joined the Double-A staff at the last minute last year. “She’s done a great job working with the guys at Amarillo. She’s so comfortable with her, the way she connects with people. I think some of the best coaches – obviously they have a good content and she has it. But I also think they’re amazing connectors and she’s definitely one of them. She shows leadership, she shows initiative.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“I know if my dad took me out of school on a Wednesday and we went to a baseball game and I saw a female coach on the field, I know Thursday my life would have changed in the trajectory of where I want to go,” Gajownik said. “So the visibility aspect is huge because, again, it shows little girls and women that we’re breaking the glass ceiling and we’re let’s leave breadcrumbs for everyone behind us to keep adding to see how far we can go.”
The Hops went 60-70 last season.
Leave a Reply