Over the past couple of years the National Football League has crossed the gender line and hired their first female assistant coaches; as has the NFL referees.
Now Major League Baseball has also crossed the gender line when the San Francisco Giants hired Alyssa Nakken to become the first female assistant coach in the MLB.
At the end of the 2019 MLB season, San Francisco Giants long time manager Bruce Bochy retired. Gabe Kapler was named as the new manager.
With a new head coach, comes a new staff; one of which is a former softball player. Nakken is one of 13 assistant coaches for the Giants. While she is a member of the Giants organization, her presence may not be seen on the field since MLB only allows seven assistant coaches in the dugout during any game.
Speaking on the hiring of Nakken and Mark Hallberg, Gabe Kapler released a statement saying, “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. 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 female to be a part of a Major League Baseball team, she is not the very first female coach in baseball. In November the New York Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec as a Minor League hitting coach.
Allyssa Nakken played first base at Sacramento State before earning a master’s degree in sport management from the University of San Francisco. While at Sacramento, she was a three time all conference player and a four time Academic All-American. She came to the Giants in 2014 as an intern. Her new duties will include overseeing the Giants’ health and wellness initiatives.
In the name Mark Hallberg sounds familiar, he was a team mate of Giants catcher Buster Posey. The duo played together for the Florida State Seminoles.
Feature photo credit: By David from Washington, DC – 125A0226, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84911845