The San Francisco Giants made history on Thursday when Alyssa Nakken was hired as a coach to become the first woman on a major league coaching staff.
Nakken, 29, was a college softball player at Sacramento State from 2009-12. She joined the Giants in 2014 as an intern in the baseball operations department and is currently responsible for directing many of the organization’s health and wellness initiatives.
San Francisco also added Mark Hallberg to the staff. Hallberg, 34, served as manager of short-season Class A Salem-Keizer last season.
“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,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said in a press release. “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.”
The Sacramento Bee reported that Nakken was not available for an interview and prefers to wait until she settles into her job before consenting to one.
Kapler told the Bee that Nakken will work with players on their base running and throw batting practice in addition to working on team unity aspects.
“(Nakken) is the best choice for this job, period,” Kapler told the Bee. “She has experience as an elite athlete. She’s been with the Giants organization. She was successful leading initiatives with the Giants. She was a perfect fit.”
Nakken batted .304 with 19 homers and started 184 games during her softball career. She was a three-time all-conference selection.
Hallberg played parts of five minor league seasons from 2007-11 in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization and batted .277 with 18 homers and 220 RBIs in 509 games.
—Field Level Media