Kim Ng started her Major League Baseball career as an intern and three decades later she is still on the rise.
Ng on Friday became the majors’ highest-ranking woman and Asian American in baseball operations when she was hired as general manager of the Miami Marlins.
She is believed to be the first female GM in a major professional sport in North America, the Marlins said.
“I think this is the most noteworthy day for baseball since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947,” said Richard Lapchick, an expert on race and gender in sports at the University of Central Florida.
Ng won three World Series rings while spending 21 years in the front offices of the Chicago White Sox (1990-1996), the New York Yankees (1998-2001) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-2011). She spent the past nine years with Major League Baseball as a senior vice president.
“After decades of determination, it is the honor of my career to lead the Miami Marlins,” Ng said in a statement. “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.”
Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter played for the Yankees when Ng worked for them.
“We look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins,” Jeter said in a statement. “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.”
Jeter became baseball’s first black CEO after his group bought the Marlins in 2017. He then hired Caroline O’Connor, who as senior vice president is one of the highest-ranking women in professional sports.
Ng, 51, becomes the fifth person to hold the Marlins’ top position in baseball operations and succeeds Michael Hill, who was not retained after this season.
A virtual news conference for Ng is planned for tomorrow.
“All of us at Major League Baseball are thrilled for Kim and the opportunity she has earned with the Marlins,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
“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. The hard work, leadership, and record of achievement throughout her long career in the national pastime led to this outcome,” he said.
The Miami Dolphins’ Brian Flores, one of four head coaches of color in the National Football League, was among those to applaud Ng’s hiring.
“It’s phenomenal,” Flores said. “Anyone who thinks a woman can’t manage or coach or lead, I think, is silly. Kudos to the Marlins.”
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