(KTXL) — Alyssa Nakken, a former Sacramento State softball player, made major league history when she became the first woman to coach on the field during a regular-season game.
She accomplished the milestone in the Giants’ 13-2 home win over the San Diego Padres on April 12. In 2019, Nakken became the first female assistant coach in the MLB.
The magnitude of her historic coaching debut wasn’t lost on anyone.
Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer congratulated her during the game and her former college coach Lori Perez, who was watching from home, jumped off a call during the historic moment.
“I hear what you’re saying, but this is more important right now and for sure maybe a little bit of a scream, maybe a little bit more of a colorful word, just in terms of excitement and I was just stoked for her,” Perez told FOX40.
Nakken took over coaching duties at first base after first base coach Antoan Richardson was ejected in the bottom of the third inning. Richardson was involved in a verbal altercation with Padres third base coach Mike Shildt.
“He was asked to leave the game, replaced him with Alyssa, who did a great job for us at first base,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler in his postgame press conference on April 12.
“It was Kai Correa that told me that I was going to coach first base,” Nakken said. “So now I know exactly how are pinch hitters feel when Kai Correra comes down to the cage and tells them to go in an at-bat. To go out there and just be ready to step in for that moment, it was a no-brainer and this is my job.”
When FOX40 spoke with Nakken at the Giants’ Opening Day game on April 8, she was quick to credit the Sac State softball program for helping her lay the foundation for her MLB career.
“At Sac State, I realized the importance of surrounding yourself with really good people,” Nakken said. “I played softball at Sac and was surrounded by awesome coaches and teammates and that allowed me to go out and compete at a really like hard pace every single day. I wanted to do everything I could for my coaches and teammates.”
Nakken’s former college coach is someone that will continue to support her throughout her career.
“I get totally emotional about it just because I’m so proud of her and seeing the barrier broken,” Perez said. “Knowing that she’s just been able to follow a path and have a goal of what she wanted to do it and see the success. I’m so excited for her.”