SPRINGFIELD, Mo–The Springfield Cardinals and Amarillo Sod Poodles will continue their Texas League series Friday night.
If you’re going to the game, or the two this weekend pay attention to who’s coaching first base for the Sod Poddles.
That’s because Ronnie G is making history.
You wouldn’t notice anything unusual when Ronnie Gajownik takes to the diamond.
That is until you see the ponytail dangling out from her batting helmet.
“I’m just like one of the guys. People always ask me how is it coaching females versue males. The males just have a lot shorter haircuts then the females do,” said Sod Poodle first base coach Ronnie Gajownik.
Ronnie coaches first base for the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Double AA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
She’s one of only 11 women across the major and minor leagues to be in uniform coaching.
“Yea it’s pretty great. It’s great because I never thought I could get to this position because growing up I never saw this. So to be able to live this out. It’s a great spot to be in and I’m very happy to be here,” said Gajownik.
Ronnie grew up in Orlando.
And grew up with baseball in her blood.
“I remember a couple of times my dad would say lets take you out of school and watch a spring training game. When I was young I grew up playing T-ball and baseball. And they would say you have to go over and play softball. I remember looking over at the baseball field and seeing all my friends and me not being able to be over there,” said Gajownik
A few years back, MLB started “Take the Field” to get women into the front office and onto the field.
Elizabeth Benn talked Ronnie into joining the program.
“She’s the one who started throwing me into stuff and saying hey do you want to get involved in baseball. I said heck yea,” said Gajownik.
Last season, the D’Backs hired Ronnie and she was promoted to Double AA after a foot injury sidelined Javier Colina.
“She’s doing great, Ronnie is awesome. She’s very passionate and very knowledgeable about the game. And she fits right in,” said Amarillo manager Shawn Roof.
As the first base coach, Ronnie helps the Sod Poodles steal bases and score.
She’s also responsible for in game defensive adjustments by the outfielders.
The players and the skipper have no problem with a woman in the dugout.
“You go out and have fun and try to win some games. And she’s helping us do that so we love her man,” said Amarillo third baseman Ti’Quan Forbes.
Roof:”Why no, why not they know the game. Women know the game as much as men do. And the passion that she brings there’s no one better.”
Ronnie doesn’t want to be called a pioneer, she prefers to be called coach.
But she does stay in touch with the other women in the game.
“It’s really great to talk with one another. And kind of lean on one another in certain situations. And also too to just have a friend. It’s a great sisterhood that we have,” said Ronnie Gajownik.