Alyssa Nakken created a piece of baseball history on Tuesday after becoming the first woman to coach on-field in a Major League game as the San Francisco Giants thrashed the San Diego Padres.
Nakken was brought on at first base in the third inning after regular first-base coach Antoan Richardson was ejected at Oracle Park in the Giants 13-2 win.
The 31-year-old Nakken was congratulated by Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer after coming on to the field while Giants catcher Curt Casali hugged her after the inning as she returned to the dugout.
Nakken was promoted from the Giants backroom staff to assistant coach in January 2020 — the first woman to be appointed as a full-time coach by a Major League Baseball team.
She served as a first-base coach in an exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics two years ago, but had never appeared in a regular-season game.
“It was awesome, I’ve never felt any sort of lack of support from this organisation,” Nakken said after her appearance on Tuesday.
“It’s been awesome. This group in here is really special. To go out there and be ready to step in for that moment was a no-brainer, this is my job,” she added.
Nakken first joined the Giants backroom staff as an intern in 2014, before going on to serve in different roles before her promotion to the coaching staff.
Nakken’s career at the Giants has flourished with the support of Giants manager Gabe Kapler.
Kapler, National League manager of the year after guiding the Giants to a 107 wins in 2021, said in a recent interview that Nakken was promoted because she was the best candidate for the coaching job.
“I think there’s always going to be question marks, because people don’t have a good understanding of how valuable diversity can be in leadership positions,” Kapler told ABC television‘s San Francisco affiliate KGO.
“It’s our belief that diversity and winning are very much connected.”