The Hillsboro Hops’ 9-2 loss on Thursday is not going to be remembered by the ultimate rating, however for a supervisor’s historic second.
When the primary pitch was thrown, Ronnie Gajownik turned the primary lady to handle in affiliated baseball on the Excessive-A degree. Final yr, Rachel Balkovec turned the primary feminine supervisor in affiliated ball for Single-A.
On Thursday, Gajownik carved out her personal place within the historical past books because the skipper of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Excessive-A affiliate.
Though her workforce misplaced in opposition to Tri-Metropolis, Gajownik was properly conscious of what her debut meant.
“Loads of feelings. I actually didn’t eat as we speak, so a little bit bit nervous,” Gajownik stated after the sport. “I care in regards to the employees and these guys and what’s finest for them. So, positively nerves, however good nerves. So, I can take a little bit bit extra of a breath after this. It’s simply nice to see and to be a part of that change that’s actually kicking the door down.”
Gajownik has had a powerful athletic profession. She earned a gold medal within the 2015 Pan-American Video games as a part of Team USA’s women’s baseball workforce.
She later joined Arizona in 2021 as a video assistant for Hillsboro. When certainly one of Double-A Amarillo’s coaches broke a foot, Gajownik was named a primary base coach for the 2022 season.
She later served as a coach for Salt River within the Arizona Fall League.
“She did an awesome job working with the fellows in Amarillo,” Arizona farm director Josh Barfield informed MLB.com in January. “She’s simply acquired such an ease about her, the way in which she connects with individuals. I believe among the finest coaches — clearly they’ve good content material, and he or she has that. … She reveals management, she reveals initiative.”
Gajownik eventually returned to Hillsboro because the supervisor. She stated the chance to be the supervisor was a results of years of arduous work.
“It means quite a bit. … It reveals how a lot time, effort, blood, sweat and tears of all these years of grinding on the ball subject after which getting myself right into a place that I wanted to get myself into to get myself right here,” she defined. “It’s been quite a bit currently, however I do know that most likely tonight and the following couple of months once I cool down a little bit bit extra into that, I’ll be capable of really replicate and actually take it in.”
Gajownik added that she wasn’t in a position to totally take the second in throughout the recreation as a result of she was centered on doing her job because the supervisor.
“I actually actually haven’t given it any thought but,” Gajownik stated.
“Simply because we’re so centered on the sport, who’s coming in when and getting all these things executed. I do know that tonight, once I lastly get again to my resort room, I’ll lastly be capable of take that breath and perceive how large of a second it was for me, after which additionally too only for the way forward for ladies in skilled sports activities.”