By Zac Cornell
A new barrier has been broken in the world of sports. Kim Ng has become the first woman to be named General Manager in Major League Baseball. The Miami Marlins made the announcement on Friday, November 13th.
Ng is the first female General Manager in all of the four major North American sports leagues which includes Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL). She is also the first Asian American GM. Having worked in the MLB for 30 years, Ng’s new position is well earned. According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, she has “one of the greatest résumés of any first-time GM in Major League Baseball’s history.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, who also owns 4% of the team, has known Ng for over 20 years, as Ng was the assistant GM at the New York Yankees from 1998 – 2002, and had handled Jeter’s contract for shortstop. During her time at the Yankees under GM Brian Cashman, the Yankees won three World Series and four American League pennants. Jeter said in a statement, “On behalf of Principal Owner Bruce Sherman and our entire ownership group, we look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins.” Jeter continued, “Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path toward sustained success. Additionally, her extensive work in expanding youth baseball and softball initiatives will enhance our efforts to grow the game among our local youth as we continue to make a positive impact on the South Florida community.”
51 year-old Ng was considered a top contender for a GM position for a decade and has interviewed for the position at the Phillies, Mets, Giants, Dodgers, Mariners and Padres. She said in a statement, “I entered Major League Baseball as an intern and, after decades of determination, it is the honor of my career to lead the Miami Marlins as their next General Manager.” She added, “This challenge is one I don’t take lightly. When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a Major League team, but I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals. My goal is now to bring Championship baseball to Miami. I am both humbled and eager to continue building the winning culture our fans expect and deserve.”
Ng began her career as an intern at the Chicago White Sox in 1990. In 1998, she became the assistant General Manager of the Yankees, and then filled that role at the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2002 to 2011. She then worked at the MLB Commissioner’s office until landing her new position.
The Marlins’ executive management is a leading team for gender equality, as their COO is also a woman, Caroline O’Connor.
Women are increasingly entering the baseball industry, currently filling forty percent of the jobs at MLB’s central office according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. Additionally, 21 women are currently employed in on-field coaching or player development roles.
Commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged the importance of Ng’s history-making hire, “Kim’s appointment makes history in all of professional sports and sets a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball and softball.”