San Francisco Giants Coach Becomes First Woman to Work on Field in Regular-Season MLB Game

MLB fans who attended the San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres game on Tuesday night witnessed history. During the third inning, Alyssa Nakken who is a member of the Giants coaching staff came into the game to be the first base coach. Nakken is the first woman in MLB history to coach on the field in a regular-season game. She took over for Antoan Richardson who was ejected, according to CBS Sports. 

Nakken, 31, has been working for the Giants since 2014 starting as an intern in baseball operations. In January 2020, she became the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position in MLB. Nakken played college softball at California State University, Sacramento, and got her master's degree in sports management at the University of San Francisco. 

In 2020, Nakken worked as a first base coach during an exhibition game. "Alyssa did a great job out there at first base today," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said at the time, per MLB.com. "[First-base coach] Antoan [Richardson] stepped up and made sure that Alyssa continued her development as well." Nakken admitted that coaching wasn't in her plans but loves the experience. 

"I feel a great sense of responsibility," Nakken said in February 2020. "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."

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Before the 2021 season, Nakken talked about the challenges she faced during her second year as a coach.  "The theme that we talked about before spring training was he wants me to start setting more direction," Nakken said on the Giants Talk Podcast, per NBC Sports Bay Area. "I'm a really good sponge. I absorb a lot. I like to observe and listen and learn from others. I think that's what year one was, just kind of getting my feet wet, and this year it's all about more direction-setting and having more conviction. Kap has included me in a lot of other meetings and is allowing me to take more reps at first base and have more say in some outfield stuff. The responsibilities are certainly increasing from last year."