Opening day of the Major League Baseball season is March 26. But the San Francisco Giants have already made history. The team recently hired Alyssa Nakken as an assistant coach, making her the first full-time female coach in the 151-year history of pro baseball.
“It’s just nuts to think this hasn’t happened before,” Nakken says.
Growing up in Woodland, California, Nakken loved playing softball, but she never dreamed she’d one day coach professional baseball. She was a star softball player in high school and went on to become the captain of her college team at Sacramento State University.
Nakken knew she wanted a career in sports and later earned a master’s degree in sports management. In 2014, she got a job with the Giants. After working behind the scenes over the next few years, she was promoted to assistant coach in January. Nakken will be on the field before games, working with players on baserunning and fielding. She hopes that seeing her in uniform will inspire more girls to work toward a career in baseball.
“I feel a great responsibility with the younger girls looking up to me,” Nakken says. “It’s an honor.”