San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken — who made history in 2020 when she became the first woman on a Major League Baseball coaching staff — just made history once again by becoming the first official female candidate for an MLB managerial position.
Nakken's candidacy — which was first reported by The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly — was confirmed after Nakken took part in a first round of internal interviews for the Giants' managerial opening, after the team fired Gabe Kapler in September.
Some news: The Giants formally interviewed assistant coach Alyssa Nakken for their managerial role, according to sources. She's believed to be the first woman to become an official candidate for an MLB club's top uniformed job. Story: https://t.co/jsh95THeyS
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) October 15, 2023
There's no question Nakken is qualified for an MLB managerial role. While she was hired as an assistant coach by Kapler in January 2020 (with her role focusing on base running, outfield instruction and in-game preparation), Nakken has served in a variety of roles with the Giants organization since 2014. Throughout her four seasons on Kapler's staff, Nakken has earned consistent praise from Giants players and fellow coaches.
For Nakken — who is already the first female to coach on the field during an MLB game — leading her own MLB team would be a dream come true. After completing her first season as an assistant coach in 2020, Nakken told The Athletic that, "Manager and/or bench coach positions are two that my interests gravitate towards at this point in time."
Nakken's trailblazing success has been followed by other women landing coaching jobs in professional baseball. Earlier this year, Ronnie Gajownik became the first woman to manage a High-A team in the minor leagues, the Arizona Diamondbacks' High-A affiliate.
In 2021, Rachel Balkovec became first woman to ever manage a minor league team, the Tampa Tarpons, the New York Yankees' Low-A affiliate. Balkovec was also interviewed for Nakken's job with the Giants before San Francisco selected Nakken for the position.
Although Nakken isn't guaranteed to get the Giants' vacant managerial job — San Francisco has also interviewed other members of its coaching staff and will not limit itself to internal options in replacing Kapler — just her being interviewed is a major accomplishment. Considering that Nakken is only 33 years old, she clearly has a bright coaching future.
Whether it's with San Francisco or another MLB team, Nakken landing that coveted managerial job may be a matter of when, not if.
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