When it comes to standings, accolades, and postseason races, the San Francisco Giants 6-2 victory over the Oakland A’s on Monday night was meaningless. It was merely an exhibition game, used to get players ready, influence roster decisions, and work out broadcasting logistics. Meaningless.
Yet it proved to be anything but.
The Giants started the night with numerous players and coaches kneeling for the national anthem, as a form of peaceful protest against system oppression and police brutality. And they ended it with Alyssa Nakken coaching first base.
In January, Nakken became the first woman to have a full-time coaching job in MLB. And after replacing Antoan Richardson during Monday’s game, she became the first woman to coach on the field during an MLB game.
It was a powerful and wonderful moment.
Alyssa Nakken coaching first for the Giants pic.twitter.com/yl8qtT6ct4— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 21, 2020
Nakken was a three-time All-American softball player at Sacramento State, and has been working in the Giants organization since she was an intern in 2014. She’s made history a few times this year, but it would seem that this is only the beginning for her. The organization — and manager Gabe Kapler — are clearly very high on her talent, and it seems likely that we’ll see her continue to rise through the ranks in the future.
Baseball is a sport that struggles with representation, so this feels like a big moment. It’s not only great for Nakken and the organization, but also for women and other underrepresented communities. Nakken will serve as inspiration that baseball is for anyone and everyone.