On July 20, 2020, Nakken made history becoming the first woman to coach on-field during an MLB game.
Alyssa Nakken joining the San Francisco Giants’ organization as an intern
In 2014, Nakken joined the Giants as an intern working in the baseball operations department. As an intern, Nakken helped out in many different ways. She helped out during the MLB draft, preparing for the trade deadline and doing some scouting. Nakken would do whatever was asked of her to be done, and as an intern, she wanted to gain as much experience as possible. Throughout her time working for the organization, she also worked for the team on health and wellness programs. Nakken earned her master’s degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco in 2015.
Nakken has a background in sports. She played softball at California State University, Sacramento, for four years and was named to the All-Pacific Coast Softball Conference team for all four years. When Nakken joined the Giants as an intern in 2014, she continued working for the organization after receiving her master’s degree. In an interview with NBC Sports, Nakken talked about how she felt that she was ready for a new challenge. “I knew like, OK, I think I can make something happen here,” Nakken said. “This organization has done so much for me, I don’t want to leave and go somewhere else.”
She could have easily packed up her bags and went to find another job somewhere else, but there was something about the Giants’ organization that she loved, and she did not want to go anywhere else. That decision not to leave paid off for Nakken.
Alyssa Nakken joining the Giants’ coaching staff
When Gabe Kepler took over as the Giants manager in November of 2019, he was putting together a new staff. Kapler ended finding someone within the organization to join his coaching staff. At the time, Nakken believed that it was time for her to move back to the organization’s baseball operations side. But Kapler made her a once in a lifetime offer.
The Giants announced the addition of Nakken to the coaching staff in January of 2020. Nakken’s role is assisting with the on-field workouts and will mostly be behind the scenes helping out in defensive positioning meetings. She also will help with the analytics staff and have conversations with players. Kapler valued the work that Nakken did throughout the organization, and he wanted her to be a part of his staff.
Alyssa Nakken creating opportunities for women coaches in baseball
In February, Nakken had an interview with MLB.com, talking about how she felt about making history in the MLB. “I feel it’s my job to honor those who have helped me to where I am,” she said. “Coaching, I never saw it. This job has kind of been hidden for so long. I’m so excited to be in this role for the challenge and the opportunity to make an impact for this organization that I love.”
When Nakken made her debut at coaching first base, players went on social media to celebrate her accomplishment. Giants outfielder Hunter Pence wrote on Twitter, “Congratulations on making history!” Nakken can motivate and inspire other women who may want to pursue a career coaching in baseball. Now that they see her doing it, they know that nothing is impossible.