Alyssa Nakken becomes the first female full-time assistant in MLB history and is already embracing her role as the first female MLB coach after joining the new San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s staff last month.
Being the first female major league coach brings with it a lot of responsibility for Nakken who now stands as a prominent figure in women’s sporting history. Despite this monumental progress, some critics feel she is unfit for an on-field baseball job as a result of her gender.
Regardless of unsupporting voices, Nakken will rack up countless hours on the Giants’ field over the next eight months coaching the players on everything from cage work to infield practice.
Speaking about her new position as a role model for young women worldwide, Nakken said: “It’s a big deal. I feel a great sense of responsibility and I feel it’s my job to honour those who have helped me to where I am.
“I’ve been ready for a challenge like this, something new.”
However, ESPN reported that it was never about being a woman that made it special for Nakken as she explained:
“I think why it’s difficult for me to put it into words is because throughout the interview process and getting to know Gabe and Farhan [Zaidi, Giants president of operations] a little bit more, it was never about this,
“It was never about being a female. It was never about being the first.
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“It was about, ‘Hey, we have a brand-new staff, there’s a lot going on, we need somebody to come in here and make an impact in this clubhouse, for this staff, for the team and help us win, somebody who knows baseball, is a good communicator, can build relationships, can build trust,’ and that’s what it was about.”
Previously, Nakken enjoyed a three-year stint at Sacramento State (2009-2012) and was a three-time all-conference player at first base and four-time Academic All American. She continued onto the University of San Francisco, after interning with the Giants’ baseball operations for a year, to earn a master’s degree in sport management in 2015.
Nakken is more than capable and ready to get to work this season:
“In terms of this setting, I love what I’m doing, and I love this position that I’m in.”