- The Miami Marlins have hired Kim Ng as their general manager, the first female GM in men’s professional North American sports
- Ng has more than thirty years of experience in Major League Baseball including 21 in the front offices of the White Sox, Yankees and Dodgers
- Ng joins a Marlins team on the rise after qualifying for the 2020 postseason with increased odds and optimism for 2021
The Major League Baseball offseason is likely to be a slow, marathon-type winter given the current economic picture across the league.
That said, that didn’t stop Friday from being a historic day for not only for MLB, but for gender equality on the whole as the Miami Marlins have made big news with the hiring of its new general manager.
Ng Becomes First Female GM
The Miami Marlins made history on Friday by announcing Kim Ng as their new general manager. Not only does the hiring make Ng the first female GM in Major League Baseball history, but she is believed to be the first female GM of a professional men’s North American sports team.
OUR gm #NewProfilePic pic.twitter.com/ljhBLMfgrq
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) November 13, 2020
“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, and we wish Kim all the best as she begins her career with the Marlins.”
Ng, the fifth GM in Marlins history, is now the highest-ranking woman in baseball operations in the Majors. Additionally, she is the second person of Asian descent to lead an MLB team, following current San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations and former Los Angeles Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi.
“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,” chief executive officer Derek Jeter said in a statement. “Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path towards 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.”
The Marlins parted ways with Michael Hill as president of baseball operations in October, setting the stage of a re-tool of their front office.
Ng will oversee the decision-making department along with Sherman, Jeter and vice president of baseball operations and scouting Gary Denbo, as well as the pro, amateur and international departments.
Well Earned Opportunity
There’s a case to be that Ng has been qualified for such a role for quite a long period of time and boasts an impressive resume.
A graduate of the University of Chicago, Ng broke into baseball as an intern with the White Sox in 1990, later advancing to assistant director of baseball operations. She then become the Yankees’ assistant general manager from 1998-2001.
Making history by bringing a lifetime of excellence, Kim Ng steps to the helm as GM. #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/UrYESbjTHe
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) November 13, 2020
In nine years with the Dodgers as nice president and assistant general manager, Ng had input in all player transactions, trades and free-agent signings. Her duties also oversaw the club’s arbitration efforts, pro scouting, medical and video departments. In 2004, she served as the club’s interim farm director.
“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,” Ng said in a statement. “We are building for the long term in South Florida, developing a forward-thinking, collaborative, creative baseball operation made up of incredibly talented and dedicated staff who have, over the last few years, laid a great foundation for success.”
Ng, 51, has more than 30 years of MLB experience, including 21 in the front offices of the White Sox (1990-96), Yankees (’98-2001) and Dodgers (’02-11).
Steps Into Envious Situation
The 2020 season was a breakthrough season for the Marlins. For only the third time since the franchise entered the league in 1993, the Marlins qualified for the postseason, albeit an expanded one in the shortened regular season. Miami went on to upset the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card round, sweeping them in two games. Their 31-29 regular-season record marked their first winning season since 2009.
Armed with a dynamic, youthful starting rotation, the team appears to be on the rise despite peripheral numbers that suggested they largely overachieved as a team this past season. The Marlins were swept in three games by the division-rival Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly,” Ng said. “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.”
It won’t be easy. With increased expectations in Miami, all five NL East teams now sport postseason aspirations while the powerhouse Braves have locked down three consecutive division titles. The Mets are positioned for an aggressive offseason under new owner Steve Cohen while the Phillies and Nationals will certainly be looking to rebound from poor 2020 seasons.
Ng’s path towards another postseason berth in 2021 is unclear, however November 13, 2020 will go down as a ground-breaking day in Manager League Baseball and beyond.