MLB Herstory: Alyssa Nakken Breaks MLB Gender Barrier

While the headlines from the Giants game are all about Gabe Kapler and players kneeling during the national anthem, the Giants had another defining moment during the game.

Kapler made his second silent, but loud gesture of the night when he assigned assistant coach Alyssa Nakken to coach first base, a moment rich in symbolism and emblematic of a growing movement within the game.

Alyssa Nakken, the first female coach on a Major League Baseball staff in league history, became the first woman to coach on the field during a major league game on Monday.

Nakken joined first-year Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s staff in January, becoming the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position at the major league level. She has been with the organization since 2014, when she started as an intern in the baseball operations department.

Prior to joining the Giants, Nakken served as the chief information officer for the University of San Francisco baseball team. She played first base for the Sacramento State Hornets from 2009-2012 and was a three-time all-conference selection, four-time Academic All American, four-time Commissioner’s Honor Roll member and the 2012 conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Nakken started 184 games for the Hornets and was a career .304 hitter, ranking among the program’s top six players in six different Division 1 era categories, including home runs (19). Her 1,265 putouts are the most in school history, and she also ranks third with 115 runs scored.

Nakken will not have the on field position permanently, it’s not the job she was hired to do. But she is an in uniform employee, which is groundbreaking for the sport. Somewhere in the near future we will have a woman holding a permanent position on the field. But when the trivia is asked the answer to who was the first woman to take the field, it will be Alyssa Nakken.

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