PHOENIX — Ronnie Gajownik has been hired as manager of the Hillsboro Hops, becoming the first woman to manage a minor league Class High-A team, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced Friday.
The 29-year-old Gajownik (pronounced Gah-jow-nick) served as video coordinator for the Hops in 2021. She was on the coaching staff of the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Diamondback's Double-A affiliate, last season as first-base coach.
Rachel Balkovec became the first woman to manage a professional baseball team last year when she led the New York Yankees’ Class A Tampa Tarpons.
Gajownik was a two-year starter on South Florida's softball team and also won a gold medal with the United States in the 2015 Pan American Games.
The Diamondbacks also hired coaches Ronald Ramirez, Gabriel Hernandez and Ty Wright, as well as trainer Haruki Mukohchi and strength coach Ryan Harrel for Hillsboro's staff.
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The city of Phoenix is home to five major professional sports league teams; The NFL's Arizona Cardinals, NBA's Phoenix Suns, WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks and NHL's Arizona Coyotes.
The Cardinals have made the State Farm Stadium in Glendale their home turf and the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix is home to both the Suns and the Mercury. The Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers also play at the Footprint. Phoenix has a soccer team with the USL's Phoenix Rising FC.
The Valley hosts multiple major sporting events on a yearly basis, including college football's Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl; the PGA Tour’s highest-attended event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open; NASCAR events each spring and fall; and Cactus League Spring Training.