Alyssa Nakken became the first female coach on a major league staff in baseball history Thursday when she was named an assistant under new San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler. Major League Baseball confirmed Nakken is the first woman coach in the majors, the AP reports. Nakken is a former softball standout at first base for Sacramento State who joined the club in 2014 as an intern in baseball operations. She and Mark Hallberg, who was also named as an assistant Thursday, will work to promote high performance along with a close-knit team atmosphere. The team said Nakken has been responsible for “developing, producing and directing a number of the organization’s health and wellness initiatives and events." She has a master’s degree in sports management. The NBA has several female assistant coaches, and the NFL's San Francisco 49ers have one.
Kapler said in a text message that Nakken, 29, will be in uniform before games. She'll travel full time with the Giants, and will throw batting practice and hit fungoes, per ESPN. She won’t be in the dugout during games, per the Sacramento Bee; teams can only have seven coaches there during games, and the Giants already had named those coaches. "I think she's going to be a great coach," Kapler said. "Merit and the ability to be a great coach trumps all." (Read more MLB stories.)