Rachel Balkovec has left her mark on baseball, and now a baseball has left its mark on her.
The first female minor league manager of an affiliated team in Major League Baseball history showed off the nasty shiner she got on her left eye after she was struck by a batted ball during drills for the New York Yankees' low Class A team two days earlier.
Balkovec, 34, who is the manager of the Tampa Tarpons in Florida, shared the photo on Instagram Thursday as she recovers.
"Well I *DID* have several modeling contracts lined up, but this put a wrench in those plans," she wrote with a winking-face emoji. "Thanks for all of the messages- Just feeling extremely lucky, and also like I’ll never throw side flips again for the rest of eternity.
"This is why you have to live your life in a way that you’re okay leaving it at any moment. Not a minute to waste being, thinking or playing small," she added with the hashtag #imnotdoneyet, tagging the accounts @vogue, @elleusa and @fordmodels.
Balkovec was struck by a ball off the bat during hitting drills on Tuesday and had to be hospitalized.
"All things considered, I feel very fortunate," she said in a statement on Wednesday. "The doctors have asked me to be smart about limiting my activities over the next several days, and I plan on following their guidance."
Balkovec has been in the Yankees' organization since joining as a hitting coach in 2019. She has been in professional baseball for 10 years since breaking in as a minor league strength and conditioning coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.
As far as her black eye, that appears to fall under the category of "that's baseball."
“It’s my understanding it was some cage work,” Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo told NJ Advance Media. “She was throwing around a screen at a close distance and the batter mishit the ball off the end of his bat for it to go at an angle that you don’t think could ever happen. But obviously it just proved that it can.”
Balkovec is expected to be back on the field with plenty of time to prepare for her history-making debut when the Tarpons play their first game of the season on April 8 on the road against the Lakeland (Florida) Flying Tigers.