Alyssa Nakken is coaching first base for the San Francisco Giants

It was an unusual sight at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Tuesday. The Giants coach for first base was kicked out in the third inning, and after his replacement came out on the field, Eric Hosmer, the first seed of the San Diego Padres, came to shake her hand.

Hosmer clearly understood the significance of the moment: Alyssa Nakken became the first woman to train on the field in a Major League Baseball game.

Nakken, 31, is no stranger to the first time. Assistant coach in staff manager Gabe Kapler since 2020, she was already the first woman to have a full-time coaching role in the major games.

After Tuesday’s game, which the Giants won 13-2, she spoke about the importance of this move and made it clear that it was entirely within her work commitments.

“I think we are all inspired by doing everything we do every day, and I think, yes, this has a little more weight because of visibility,” she told reporters after the game.

“Obviously it is historical in nature,” she added. “But then again, this is my job.”

Nakken’s rise through the ranks of the Giants is part of a growing trend of women earning bigger roles in the game. In recent months, Rachel Balkovec of Tampa Tarpons has become the first woman to lead a team in related baseball; Genevieve Beacom, a 17-year-old pitcher, began playing professionally in Australia; and Kelsie Whitmore, a 23-year-old pitcher, have signed a contract to play with the Staten Island FerryHawks of the Atlantic Professional Baseball League. Last year, Kim Ng became the first woman to lead the MLB team’s front office as its general manager.

In San Francisco, Kapler said that Nakken, in addition to her work on running the team base and defending off the field, is helping to keep things in order for his unusually large staff of 13 coaches. He said on Tuesday that she was preparing to go out on the field by working with the usual first base coach, Antoine Richardson. She also previously coached first base during the spring training matches.

“It’s no stranger to her on the field,” Kapler said. “She does a lot of other things that are not seen. So it’s nice to see her in the spotlight and she’s doing it on the field. “

Unfortunately, Nakken’s big moment was fueled by an ugly incident in which Richardson quarreled with Mike Shildt, the Padres ’third base coach. The debate most likely started because the Giants player stole the base with a lead of nine runs. But during the disagreement, Richardson said that Schildt told Kapler that the Giants manager should “control” Richardson, using swearing to describe the coach, who is from the Bahamas. Richardson told reporters after the game that he believed the incident had a “hint of racism”.

Although teams or MLB are likely to investigate the incident between coaches, the importance of Nakken’s field trip was clear to all involved: the orange helmet she wore was on her way to Cooperstown to be added to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s permanent collection.

“It’s a big deal,” she told reporters. “I feel a great sense of responsibility and I feel it is my job to pay tribute to those who helped me to where I am.”

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