California Sports

Alyssa Naken sets history as first woman to coach MLB

Alyssa Nakken, assistant coach for the San Francisco Giants, made a historic move on Tuesday night when she became the first woman to coach on the field during a regular-season Major League Baseball game against the San Diego Padres.

Antoan Richardson was dismissed from the San Francisco Giants’ game against the San Diego Padres in the bottom of the third inning. Nakken then stepped in to replace him as the team’s first base coach. The Giants walked home with a victory of 13-2 over the Padres.

“I was prepared for this moment,” said Nakken. “Never knew if or when it would happen, but [I] was ready to step in when the team needed me to. So yeah I think it means a lot. It’s a fun start to the season so far.”

Nakken received praises from her co-workers. San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler said that Nakken had done so much with little recognition. Therefore, seeing her at the forefront was a major achievement.

Nakken has previously broken another glass ceiling back in January 2020 when she became the Giants’ first full-time female coach.

About Nakken

Nakken was a three-time all-conference first baseman and a four-time Academic All American at Sacramento State from 2009 to 2012.

She went on to get a master’s degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco after graduating from Sacramento State (USF). She began working with the Giants as an intern in 2014, handling the team’s health and wellness activities.

Nakken’s stunt in the game earned herĀ a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Her helmet from Tuesday is set to be displayed there.

She has been advocating for a stronger female presence in the MLB. She recently featured in A Conversation: Women on the Field, a special episode of MLB Tonight on the MLB Networks.

“There’s a lot of people that sure you trust and can talk to about things but sometimes they just don’t get it because they haven’t been in those positions,” Nakken said in the episode. “So it is nice to just kind of swap stories now that we’re able to be together and actually go out to dinners and stuff.

“It’s just been amazing to get to know some of the women that are in our minor league system right now and hear their stories and share a locker room with them and just be around more women in the game.”

Nakken’s historic moment took place only a few days after Rachel Balkovec became the first woman to manage an MLB affiliated team, leading the New York Yankees’ Class A Tampa Tarpons on Friday and guiding them to a 9-6 victory over the Lakeland Flying Tigers.

“It’s been 10 years of just working to this point,” said Balkovec to reporters. “Things have evolved. I was blatantly discriminated against back then. Some people say not to say that, but it’s just part of what has happened, and I think it’s important to say because it lets you know how much change has happened.”

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. As of 2022, (wikipedia)

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants are an American professional baseball team based in San Francisco. The Giants compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League West division. (wikipedia)