Eric Hosmer celebrates Alyssa Nakken’s historic breakthrough for women in sports
Alyssa Nakken’s historic moment included congratulations from Padres’ 1B Eric Hosmer
The San Diego Padres lost on Tuesday, and they lost hard.
But within the 13-2 thrashing, was a far more significant moment for baseball. In the top of the third inning, San Francisco Giants coach Alyssa Nakken became the first woman in Major League Baseball history to coach on the field.
For women in sports and young girls who dream of doing the same one day, it was a momentous occasion.
And Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer recognized that. When she took her place on the first-base line, he offered her a congratulatory handshake. When the game finally, mercifully ended, he discussed being on the field as she made history:
"“I just introduced myself, congratulated her.It’s obviously a special moment for her, and a special moment for the game. … It’s something she should be really proud of.”"
Props to Hosmer for going above division rivalry (especially in such a horrific loss) to recognize the bigger moment in play.
Representation is so important, and for the first time on Tuesday night, little girls everywhere saw themselves represented on the baseball diamond. It’s something I never saw growing up, and I’m thrilled that it’s changing. Seeing is believing, after all.
Nakken’s postgame comments were along the same lines:
"“Sometimes I think we always limit ourselves to thinking what we could do. At least that’s my experience. I never thought that I could do something like this because I never saw it. So I think, sure, it’s certainly important for people to be able to see that this is an opportunity and they can see somebody that kind of looks like them going out there and coaching in the big leagues.”"
Over the last few years, women have made tremendous progress in claiming space in baseball. In 2021, an Orioles-Rays game had the first all-women broadcast in MLB history. Rachel Folden (Cubs), Rachel Balkovec (Yankees), and Bianca Smith and Katie Krall (Red Sox) are making history coaching and managing (Balkovec) in the minor leagues. In the Miami Marlins front office, Kim Ng is the first woman GM not only in baseball but in all four American male pro sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL).
In the lengthy history of baseball, there have been millions of women who grew up loving the game. There have been a handful of women owners, executives, and personnel sprinkled throughout. But for a long time, there were limits on how high that love of the game could go, and how many women were allowed to be ‘in the room where it happens’ at once.
How incredible to be alive in a time when those ceilings are being irrevocably shattered.