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San Francisco Giants’ Bench Coach Makes US Major League Baseball History


San Francisco Giants coach Alyssa Nakken watches from the dugout during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Los Angeles.

History was made Tuesday in U.S. Major League Baseball when Alyssa Nakken became the first woman to coach on the field during a regular-season game.

Nakken, an assistant coach with the San Francisco Giants, was called by manager (head coach) Gabe Kapler in the third inning of their game against the visiting San Diego Padres to replace first base coach Antoan Richardson after he was ejected. Nakken was greeted with a handshake by Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer as she took her place on the field.

The 31-year-old Nakken has been a coach with the Giants since January 2020, after interning with the franchise back in 2014. She was first base coach during an exhibition game later that year, and has done the job during spring training games.

“It's been awesome,” she said in a post-game interview. “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.”

The Giants went on to post a 13-2 rout of the Padres.

San Francisco Giants first base coach Alyssa Nakken runs to get in position, near San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola, left, during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 12, 2022.
San Francisco Giants first base coach Alyssa Nakken runs to get in position, near San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola, left, during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

Nakken’s history-making event occurred just days after Rachel Balkovec became the first woman to manage a U.S. professional baseball team when she debuted with the Tampa Tarpons, a minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees. The two milestones came ahead of the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s April 15,1947 debut with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming Major League Baseball’s first Black player in the modern era.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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