She quickly removed her sweatshirt, grabbed her No. 92 jersey and found a bright orange batting helmet.
A few minutes later, Nakken made major league history as the first female coach on the field in a regular-season game when she took her place in Tuesday night’s 13-2 win over San Diego.
“I think we’re all inspirations, doing everything we do day to day, and I think yeah, that carries a little bit more weight because of the visibility, obviously it has a historical character,” she said. “But again, that’s my job.”
Nakken came in in the third inning to coach first base for the Giants after Antoan Richardson was ejected.
When she was announced as Richardson’s replacement, Nakken received a hearty ovation from the crowd at Oracle Park and a hearty handshake from Padre’s first baseman Eric Hosmer.
“Right now in this moment that I’m thinking back I’m thinking of someone who had to get out, we needed a coach to coach first base, our first base coach got kicked out who I’ve been coaching for as first base coach for the last few years and worked with Antoan, so I did what I was hired to do, which was to support those people and that team,” said Nakken.
The Baseball Hall of Fame was also complete. Her helmet is already on its way to the shrine in Cooperstown, New York.
San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said Nakken “prepared for this moment” while working with Richardson and others.
“So it’s not a strange place on the field for them. She does so many other things well that you don’t see,” he said. “So it’s nice to see her taking the spotlight and doing it on the field.”
Nakken is an assistant coach who works extensively with baserunning and outfield defense. She watches games from an indoor batting cage near the steps to the dugout — and keeps a Giants jersey nearby just in case she needs it.
And in a single Tuesday night she needed it.
Nakken, 31, jogged onto the field four days after Rachel Balkovec became the first woman to coach a minor-league affiliate of a major-league baseball team. She led the New York Yankees’ Class A Tampa Club to a win in their first game.
Nakken had previously coached the position in spring training and during part of a July 2020 exhibition game in Oakland against current Padres manager Bob Melvin when he was the track’s skipper. She first started again a night later against the A’s in San Francisco as teams prepared for the pandemic-delayed season.
“You’re proud to be out there,” Nakken said at the time. “Personally for me it’s the best place to watch a game, that’s for sure.”
The former Sacramento State softball star, whose blonde braid hung from her orange hard hat on Tuesday, became the first female coach in the major leagues when she was hired to join Kapler’s staff in January 2020.
Nakken was a three-time All-Conference player at first base and four-time Academic All American from 2009-2012 at Sacramento State. She earned a master’s degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco in 2015 after an internship at the Giants’ baseball operations department a year prior.
From day one with the Giants, Nakken embraced her role as a role model for girls and women that they can do anything.
“It’s a big deal,” she said. “I feel very responsible and see it as my duty to honor those who have helped me get to where I am.”
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://abc13.com/alyssa-nakken-first-female-coach-on-the-field-in-a-regular-season-game-san-francisco-giants-mlb-history/11743890/ Alyssa Nakken of the San Francisco Giants becomes the first MLB coach on the field during regular season play