How Giants' Alyssa Nakken takes responsibility as female trailblazer

Jessica Kleinschmidt
·2 min read

Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken made history a few times this year, with the most recent feat being the first female in MLB history to be an on-field coach.

Her moment coaching first base in an exhibition game against the A's was bigger than baseball. 

"It is hard for me to just wrap my head around it all," Nakken told Mark Willard on "Inside Giant Moments" this week. "There are times where I feel -- well, incredibly grateful, but also very, very humbled."

Shattering the glass ceiling does that to you, but Nakken realizes it's a huge sense of responsibility and she's up for the challenge.

"To honor all of those women, and the women that are currently going through massive struggles just to be equal to men, so yeah, I have a job to do on the field, but there's also this very big job for humanity that I'm a part of and I need to make sure that I'm continuing to move the needle," Nakken said. 

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]
 

Telling players they made the Opening Day roster, making sure the coaches have everything they need, working with outfielders and baserunners, and learning from first base coach Antoan Richardson are all duties of being in uniform. The off-the-field stuff is the real work, but it's getting noticed.

Nakken, a former softball player from the age of nine, received praise from Jennie Finch, essentially softball royalty, and tennis icon Billie Jean King also had reached out to Nakken. Those were both dreams come true for her.

Nakken knows she's making a difference, but realizes she didn't do it alone. 

[RELATED: Nakken feels sense of pride as first base coach]

"And also, there are so many women out there that have paved this path for me to get here and have been literally told ‘You can't be in baseball because you're a girl,' " Nakken said.

The woman writing this blog was told the same thing many times.

How Giants' Alyssa Nakken takes responsibility as female trailblazer originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area