Tuesday’s game between the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres was one for the history books. But it wasn’t because of one of the players. Instead, it was because of the coaching staff.
Giants’ coach Alyssa Nakken was the first woman to take the field for an MLB regular-season game when she took her position as the first base coach, NBC News reported.
Nakken replaced Antoan Richardson when the umpires ejected him from the game at the bottom of the third.
Richardson was allegedly giving directions to outfielders, Sports Illustrated reported.
At the time, the score was 10-1, Giants.
Nakken is an assistant coach for the Giants and was called by manager Gabe Kapler to take her place on the field, NBC News reported.
When she got there, she got a quick handshake from Padres’ first baseman Eric Hosmer, ESPN reported.
“Right now in this moment as I reflect back, I reflect back to somebody needed to go out, we needed a coach to coach first base, our first-base coach got thrown out. I’ve been in training as a first-base coach for the last few years and work alongside Antoan, so I stepped in to what I’ve been hired to do, is support this staff and this team,” Nakken said, according to ESPN.
Last night’s groundbreaking moment isn’t a first for Nakken. She is also the first woman to have a full-time coaching job on a major-league team. Her uniform from the 2020 opening game was donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame, NBC News reported.
Her helmet from Tuesday’s game is also on the way to the museum, according to ESPN.
Nakken joined the Giants in 2014 as a baseball operations intern and was promoted through the ranks. Before that, she was a star softball player at Sacramento State University.
“I think we’re all inspirations doing everything that we do on a day-to-day basis and I think, yes, this carries a little bit more weight because of the visibility, obviously there’s a historical nature to it,” she said, according to ESPN. “But again, this is my job.”
Nakken isn’t the only woman making a name for herself on the diamond. Rachael Balkovec was the first female manager of a major-league affiliate team for the New York Yankees’ Single-A team, the Tampa Tarpons.
The Giants went on to beat the Padres 13-2, ESPN reported.
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