The Oakland Athletics have welcomed someone new to their baseball operations team, and it might be a little bit surprising. Susan Slusser at the San Francisco Chronicle reported that they’ve hired Haley Alvarez to be their scouting coordinator, making her the first woman to ever hold that position in the Athletics organization.
As scouting coordinator, Alvarez will be working on amateur player draft preparations as well as international scouting. But that doesn’t mean she won’t have her own scouting assignment. Slusser says she’ll be working short-season A-ball in Boise and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Alvarez is returning to the Athletics after interning for them two years ago. In fact, the Athletics thought so much of her that they sponsored her trip to scout school, which set her on the path to becoming a talent evaluator. Slusser also reported that at scout school, Alvarez had the best possible roommate.
At scout school, Alvarez was roommates with Amanda Hopkins, the first full-time female scout in decades and the daughter of former A’s scout Ron Hopkins. Amanda Hopkins is an amateur scout with the Mariners.
Okay, that’s pretty great.
Alvarez’s journey through baseball shows that when women are given opportunities, they can succeed in any job, even ones that are traditionally held by men. The Athletics liked her work so much that they sent her to scout school, and when she worked for the Cincinnati Reds last year, she impressed them as well.
“Haley was tremendous,” said Reds assistant general manager Nick Krall, also a onetime A’s intern. “We hired her for more of an administrative position and she wound up taking on more responsibility. … She’s a really hard worker and wants to do it. She’s very focused and conscientious. She’s awesome.”
Being the first woman to do anything isn’t easy, but as Alvarez told Slusser, she’s taking it in stride.
“It can be difficult at times, but it gives me the motivation and drive to want to do it even more,” Alvarez said. “I’ve been doing this for a while, and everyone has been great. All the teams I’ve been with have been very supportive. I’ve been working a long time to get there, so it lights a fire under me if people say I can’t do it.”
Diversity in front office & baseball operations staff has been a major issue over the last few years, and the Athletics clearly take that seriously. Hopefully more clubs will follow their lead and we’ll see more women join the front offices of teams across baseball.
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