Some news the likes of which, hopefully, one day won’t be newsworthy: the Boston Red Sox have promoted their director of player development, Raquel Ferreira, to the position of vice president of baseball administration. As Alex Speier of WEEI notes, this makes her just the third woman at the level of vice president or above in major league baseball, following MLB VP Kim Ng and Yankees senior vice president Jean Afterman. UPDATE: I’m told now that Ferreira may just be the third woman VP or higher in baseball operations, not baseball as a whole.
In other news, I just got done watching the “Battered Bastards of Baseball” documentary on Netflix. It’s about the independent Portland Mavericks from the 1970s, run by actor/showman Bing Russell. It’s an excellent film which I highly recommend you see. Even if you know the general story of that club, there’s plenty to learn there. Including the fact that their assistant general manager was Lanny Moss, who later was the GM for the Boise team in the Northwest League. She is believed to be the first full-time woman general manager in the minor leagues (more on the history of women GMs here).
Back in the 1970s, the most common way to advance in baseball was to either have playing or coaching experience (with coaching gigs reserved for those who played) or to have some sort of family tie to the club. That pattern is nowhere near as strong as it used to be, with clubs now routinely hiring people from business and analytics backgrounds, substantially opening up the field. Maybe it took a Maverick like Bing Russell to hire a woman for a top executive position in baseball the 1970s. That’s certainly less so today, even if it’s still rare to find people ascending as high as Raquel Ferreira has with the Sox.
One hopes and presumes that, as time goes on, there will be more than just three women near the top of baseball’s management structure and that baseball’s executive ranks will better-reflect the fan base and the country as a whole.