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Elephant Rumblings: Veronica Alvarez managing Lansing Lugnuts

MLB news roundup

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Milwaukee Brewers vs. Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

The A’s have a pretty good record of extending opportunities to deserving women in the sport of baseball, relatively speaking. As Matt Kawahara at the San Francisco Chronicle noted yesterday, the A’s became the first major-league franchise to hire a woman coach in 2015, when they brought on Justine Siegal as a guest instructor for their instructional league team.

This week, Veronica Alvarez became the first woman to manage an A’s affiliate when she was tapped to cover for vacationing full-time manager Phil Pohl. The 39-year-old manager of the USA Baseball Women’s National Team has worked for the A’s since 2019 as a Spring Training and roving catching instructor. She was also a catcher for the USA Women’s Team from 2008 through 2016 and brought home a gold medal from the 2015 Pan-American Games.

The Lugnuts lost their first game with Alvarez at the helm on Tuesday, but came from behind on Wednesday to take the second game in a series of six against the Great Lakes Loons. Stephanie Sheehan at cited Alvarez’s savvy bullpen management as a factor in securing the Lugnuts’ win. Veronica will manage the team for the duration of the series.

MLB has a long way yet to go in giving women opportunities commensurate with the talents they have to offer the game, but the situation is slowly improving. In her story on Alvarez, Sheehan mentioned some other notable recent achievements by women in baseball: Earlier this year, Rachel Balkovec became the first full-time female manager of an affiliated team, the Tampa Tarpons. Alyssa Nakken became the first full-time female coach in MLB in 2020, and Kim Ng became the first full time female general manager the same year when the Miami Marlins made her the highest ranking female executive in all of baseball.

Athletics Nation congratulates Veronica Alvarez and celebrates the rise of women in baseball!

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