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Alyssa Nakken is the first woman to be an on field coach in MLB history

It was the top of the 3rd in a west coast showdown between the Giants and Padres, when a young woman took an important step.

Paul Rudder
Alyssa Nakken is the first woman to be an on field coach in MLB history

Major League Baseball took an important step on Tuesday night when it saw a woman coach on field for the first time in the league’s history.

Giants’ Alyssa Nakken writes her name into MLB history books

Though it came as a result of an ejection in the third inning of Tuesday night’s game between the Padres and Giants, the moment was no less important as San Francisco’s Alyssa Nakken made MLB history by becoming the first woman to serve as an on field coach, when she stepped in to the fill the role for ejected first-base coach Antoan Richardson. The first base umpire ejected Richardson at the top of the third inning for allegedly instructing the defense. As she stepped on to the field and her name was announced as Richardson’s replacement, Nakken received a warm ovation from the crowd at Oracle Park. Upon arrival at first base she even received a congratulatory handshake from Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Interestingly, Nakken’s achievement comes just four days after Rachel Balkovec became the first woman to manage a minor league affiliate of a Major League Baseball team. Balkovec guided the New York Yankees’ Class A Tampa club to a win in her first game.

What’s Alyssa Nakken’s story?

At 31 years of age, Nakken has actually been a part of the Giants organization since 2014, when she started as an intern in baseball. Now serving in the role of a major league assistant coach on manager Gabe Kapler’s staff, Nakken has definitely seen her career blossom. Previously, Nakken had functioned in roles where she handled outfield and base-running instruction, which then led to her becoming the first woman earn a full-time coaching position in MLB.

“I feel it’s my job to honor those who have helped me get to where I am,” she told at the time. “Coaching, I never saw it. This job has kind of been hidden for so long. I’m so excited to be in this role for the challenge and the opportunity to make an impact for this organization that I love. But also, I’m excited that now girls can see there is a job on the field in baseball. It’s really cool.” Incidentally, this isn’t Nakken’s ‘first rodeo,’ in that back in July of 2020 she actually coached first base during a “summer camp” exhibition game. Tuesday, however, was a different story, as the moment she took to the field marked the first time a woman has coached on the field in an MLB regular-season game.

Alyssa Naken the role model

A former Sacramento State softball star, Nakken’s jersey actually hangs in the baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in recognition of her moment back in 2020, it would seem to follow that they will soon be requesting another. Having the front office it was always clear to everyon that Nakken had fully embraced her role as a positive example for young girls and women. “You feel a sense of pride to be out there.” Nakken said at the time. “It’s a big deal,” she said. “I feel a great sense of responsibility and I feel it’s my job to honor those who have helped me to where I am.”


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