Alyssa Nakken trotted out near first base on Monday night and with that became the first woman to coach in an on-field capacity at the major-league level.
The San Francisco Giants assistant coach took over as first-base coach late in the team’s 6-2 exhibition win over the Oakland A’s at Oakland Coliseum. When the Giants and manager Gabe Kapler hired her in January, she became the first female coach in MLB history.
Nakken has coached first base during intrasquad games, per MLB.com. She has often worked with regular first-base coach Antoan Richardson to oversee outfield and baserunning instruction.
Social media began buzzing around the historic moment and players celebrated it. Women are becoming more prominent in the game, but there are still major “firsts” to accomplish. This is another one down.
Giants celebrate Nakken’s moment
Giants outfielder Hunter Pence congratulated Nakken, as did infielder Mauricio Dubon.
Former MLB outfielder Adam Jones also celebrated it and called out anyone who didn’t with a series of shrug emojis.
The Giants and A’s play another exhibition game on Tuesday night before beginning their regular seasons later in the week.
Nakken started as Giants intern
Nakken, 30, joined the Giants in 2014 as a baseball operations intern with job responsibilities that included the draft and player development. When she was hired as an assistant coach in January, she was directing the health and wellness initiatives.
"We just see Alyssa as an especially effective coach, period," Kapler said earlier this month, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "At this point, she's so ingrained in our culture and so ingrained as a member of our coaching staff that she's just going around making players and staff members better. That's how I see it when I see her out on the field."
She played for the Sacramento State softball team at first base from 2009-12 and was a three-time All-Conference selection. She has a masters degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco, where she was the chief information officer for the baseball team.
The Giants made other news Monday night as well. Kapler and four players took a knee during the national anthem. Up until then former A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell had been the only MLB player to do so since Colin Kaepernick did it in the NFL in 2016.
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