Why throw like a girl when you can coach like one? And that’s a philosophy Alyssa Nakken stands by. With the San Francisco Giants promoting Nakken, she has become the first full-time female assistant coach in Major League Baseball history.
Gabe Kapler, the Giants’ new manager, made the move to bring the 29-year-old up the team’s ranks to join assistant coach Mark Hallberg in uniform and in the dugout.
Nakken is a former academic All-American softball first baseman from Sacramento State, where she earned a master’s degree in sports management. She joined the Giants in 2014 as an operations intern, and has since been running the team’s health and wellness initiatives.
“Alyssa and Mark are highly respected members of the organization and I’m delighted that they will now focus their talents on helping to build a winning culture in the clubhouse,” Kapler said. “In every organization, environment affects performance, and baseball clubhouses are no different. That’s why in addition to assisting the rest of the coaching staff on the field, Mark and Alyssa will focus on fostering a clubhouse culture that promotes high performance through, among other attributes, a deep sense of collaboration and team.”
While Nakken is the first full-time coach in MLB history, Justine Siegal blazed a trail when she was hired by the Brockton Rox in 2009, becoming the first woman on a coaching staff of a professional men’s baseball team. She also became the first woman to throw batting practice and coach for an MLB team.
“The wall is broken,” Siegal tweeted when the news came out.
The wall is broken. https://t.co/7yoh2E7vp0
— Justine Siegal (@justinebaseball) January 17, 2020
Siegal later expanded on her definition of “wall.”
“I visualized the barrier as a wall, not a ceiling. Like I was banging my head against the wall, w/ people telling me it wasn’t possible 2b a pro coach, yet w/ each head bang, I moved the wall another inch. Or maybe start a crack in it.”
Either way, it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.
And, with that, I’ll say, welcome to the big leagues, Alyssa Nakken.
We all agree. It’s right where you belong.