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Why Giants' Nakken felt prepared for biggest moment yet


When the lights are the brightest, it’s normal to be nervous. 

Alyssa Nakken was the opposite as she made history Tuesday night, stepping in for Giants first base coach Antoan Richardson when he was ejected in the third inning of San Francisco’s 13-2 victory over the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park.

In doing so, Nakken became the first woman to ever coach on the field during an MLB game -- and she was ready. 

“... I was prepared for this moment. Never knew if or when it would happen, but was ready to step in when the team needed me to,” Nakken told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Laura Britt and George Kontos on "Giants Postgame Live."

Even though Nakken was composed during her historic moment, the significance of it all wasn’t lost on her. Neither was the change in temperature from the busy dugout to the wide open field.

“I think it means a lot,” she said. “It’s certainly cold out here.”

It was Giants bench coach Kai Correa who told Nakken she would be coaching first base the rest of the game, and the surprise provided her with a newfound soft spot for her players.

“Now I know how our pinch hitters feel when Kai Correa comes over to the cage and tells them to get ready to go get an at-bat,” Nakken said. “I think that’s just a great feel for me to have to understand what our players go through.”

Even Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer came over to congratulate the third-year coach on the achievement, and she was greeted with enthusiasm by Giants players and coaching staff when she returned to the dugout.

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“[Hosmer and the dugout said] congratulations and happy for you and go get them, very simple, just like that,” Nakken said. “It was awesome … I’ve never felt any sort of lack of support in this organization or against any of [Padres coach] Bob Melvin’s teams … This group in here is really special, so you go out there and just be ready to step in for that moment.

“It was a no-brainer. This is my job.”

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