WOODLAND (CBS13) — A Sacramento State graduate and Woodland native has made Major League Baseball history—or should we say, she made “her-story.”
Alyssa Nakken coached first base for the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night making her the first woman to ever make an on-field appearance in a regular-season MLB game.READ MORE: Downtown Sacramento Restaurant Vegan Deadly Sins Vandalized For Second Time
Nakken was born and raised in the Yolo County city of Woodland, located just northwest of Sacramento. She was a standout pitcher for the Woodland Wolves and, at 5’10’, was heavily recruited by colleges.
“She could hit the ball a country mile to all fields, left and right and center,” said Lori Perez, who was the assistant softball coach at Sac State when Nakken was on the team. “She was an athlete who could fly around the bases.”
Nakken earned top honors as a three-time all-conference first baseman, but it was her demeanor and delivery that made Perez know right away that Nakken was destined for greatness.
“She has that charismatic personality,” Perez said. “She has the ability to communicate well. She knows the game.”READ MORE: Del Paso Boulevard Bike Party Hopes To Make Area Safer For Bicyclists
Perez watched as Nakken entered the graduate program in sports management at the University of San Francisco, then turned an internship with the Giants’ organization into a paying job.
So when Nakken got called to be the first woman to coach on a big-league staff, Perez wasn’t surprised and neither was Nakken’s mother.
“She’s always wanted to trailblaze for women,” said mom Gaye Makken.
She knew her daughter had the mental toughness for the job and could handle herself. She has two older brothers whom she always had to keep up with. Even so, Mom said, “there were a few tears and it was just amazing!”
Mom is confident her daughter will make the transition and so are her coaches. They predict tough days because telling a male baseball player what to do may not always fly, but Alyssa Nakken will succeed.MORE NEWS: Firefighting Agencies Prep For Intense Fire Conditions
“It’s all about knowing your player, knowing what motivates them and speaking the type of language that motivates them,” Perez said.