Giants players praise Alyssa Nakken after first spring training as coach


It's something special when Hunter Pence notices your enthusiasm.

It’s impossible not to feel any energy when you’re around the Giants’ outfielder, but this compliment went toward his assistant coach, Alyssa Nakken. 

Pence, along with many of his teammates, had nothing but great things to say about Nakken in interviews with The San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month.

Nakken made history this offseason by becoming the first female coach to be hired on to a major league coaching staff. But making history wasn’t something she and the team’s manager, Gabe Kapler, had discussed during the interview process. That’s the exact mentality she wants to bring to the team, and she had just finished her first spring training in that role.

“It’s great. it’s kind of what San Francisco’s all about,” Jeff Samardzija told The Chronicle. “This game’s for everybody. For kids. For old people. For men and women and anybody, man. It’s a fun game, and you just want to get as many people involved who love the game as much as we do.”

Brandon Crawford mirrored those sentiments in a way but didn’t want it to get blown out of proportion. He wished it was more common.

“I don’t want this to sound bad because it is a historic thing, but I feel the more that it’s talked about, the bigger deal it is, and it shouldn’t be such a big deal,” Crawford said. “It should be, ‘Why not have more women in those positions?’ It should be normal.”

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It should. And hopefully one day, it will be. 

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