SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Alyssa Nakken was hard at work in the batting cage, just a few steps from the dugout, when suddenly the call came: The San Francisco Giants needed her to coach at first base.
She quickly pulled off her sweatshirt, grabbed her No. 92 jersey and found a bright orange batting helmet.
A few minutes later, Nakken made major league history as the first female coach on the field in a regular-season game when she took her spot Tuesday night in a 13-2 win over San Diego.
“I think we’re all inspirations doing everything that we do on a day-to-day basis and I think, yes, this carries a little bit more weight because of the visibility, obviously there’s a historical nature to it,” she said. “But again, this is my job.”
Nakken came in to coach first base for the Giants in the third inning after Antoan Richardson was ejected.
When she was announced as Richardson’s replacement, Nakken received a warm ovation from the crowd at Oracle Park, and a congratulatory handshake from Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer.
“Right now in this moment as I reflect back, I reflect back to somebody needed to go out, we needed a coach to coach first base, our first base coach got thrown out, I’ve been in training as a first base coach for the last few years and work alongside Antoan, so I stepped in to what I’ve been hired to do, is support this staff and this team,” Nakken said.
The baseball Hall of Fame was ready, too. Her helmet is already on its way to the shrine in Cooperstown, New York.
San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said Nakken had “prepared for this moment” while working with Richardson and others.
“So it’s not a foreign spot on the field for her. She does so many other things well that aren’t seen,” he said. “So it’s nice to see her kind of be right there in the…