- San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken became the first female to join an MLB coaching staff in the league’s 151-year history.
- Nakken “didn’t even know the interview was happening” when she began talks with newly minted manager Gabe Kapler about clubhouse culture and the team’s structure, according to NBC Sports.
- After an exhaustive search, Kapler made Nakken an offer to join his coaching staff in a role that she described as “a good fit.”
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Newly-minted San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken spent months interviewing to make history – and she had no idea it was happening.
The 29-year-old has worked for the Giants since 2014, when she joined the baseball operations department as an intern. She worked her way up from there over the next five years, taking on various roles within the operations and business sides of the organisation.
Over time, the former Sacramento State Hornets first baseman started to feel an itch to move closer to the diamond.
Fortuitously, the team hired Greg Kapler to take over as the team’s manager in November of last year, and he has made a point of prioritising hiring a diverse array of individuals – in both experience and perspective – while filling out his coaching staff.
According to NBC Sports, Nakken and Kapler first began conversing when they passed each other at Oracle Park and the former asked the new manager “How are you holding up?”
From there, Nakken was on Kapler’s radar, and the duo embarked on a month-long conversation about the franchise’s clubhouse culture, the team’s structure, and other “new ideas.” Though Kapler was conducting an exhaustive search outside of the organisation to fill one of the final positions on his coaching staff, he was simultaneously picking Nakken’s brain and bringing her into the fold on important discussions as a way to vet her for the role.
“I honestly didn’t even know the interview was happening,” Nakken told NBC Sports. “It was just me having conversations with Gabe and some of the staff about my thoughts on the clubhouse and the team and how do we put the best team on the field every single night.”
Kapler officially offered her the position shortly after the new year began, and Nakken said she felt confident that she was “the right person for that job,” regardless of her gender.
“Never once did Gabe talk about being the first or even being female,” Nakken said. “We needed an All-Star on this staff to just help kind of guide the ship because all of these coaches are new except for Ron Wotus and I’ve been in the organisation for five years.”
“I know the ins and outs and who to talk to,” she added. “I’ve given blood, sweat and tears to this organisation already, literally, and I’m so excited to continue that.”
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