Giants assistant Alyssa Nakken becomes first woman to coach on-field in MLB history

It may not have been how she planned it, but Alyssa Nakken made MLB history on Tuesday night.

Nakken became the first woman in league history to coach on the field in a regular-season game. The San Francisco Giants assistant replaced Antoan Richardson at first base in the third inning after he was ejected during their game against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park.

“Alyssa has all the characteristics and all the skills of a person who can lead a major-league staff and lead a major-league team at some point,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler told the San Francisco Chronicle in November. “There’s no question in my mind she has every tool necessary to do that at some point.”

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Nakken first joined the Giants’ baseball operations department as an intern in 2014. She was named an assistant coach before the 2020 season, which made her the first woman to serve as an assistant in a full-time capacity in the league.

She’s appeared at first base multiple times in the past, but only in exhibition games.

“The game of baseball isn’t discriminatory, it’s more the mentality,” Nakken told Yahoo Sports in 2020. “Do you have the strength and talent to be at this level, regardless of gender. I feel pretty strongly that baseball isn’t discriminatory on gender, but a lot of people think girls can’t be coaches or whatever. It’s kind of silly.

“My insecurities are I’m kind of young and haven’t coached at the major league level before. It’s never because I have a ponytail. I hope that can be an impact. I look forward to the day it’s not a big deal a woman is on the field of a Major League Baseball game.”

San Francisco Giants first base coach Alyssa Nakken
San Francisco Giants first base coach Alyssa Nakken stands on the field against the San Diego Padres during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP/Jed Jacobsohn)