It’s no secret that sports have not been fair to women and that there are limited opportunities for them. Kim Ng, however, just leveled this playing field a little bit more and is bound to change the next generation of baseball as the new general manager of the Miami Marlins.
With more than 30 years of experience, Kim Ng is essentially overqualified for this position and is long overdue to be a GM. In fact, this appointment is 15 years overdue as Ng interviewed for the Dodger’s GM position in 2005 and with 5 other teams since.
After graduating from the University of Chicago where she played softball, Ng got her start working as an intern for the Chicago White Sox and quickly proved she belonged in baseball. Within 5 years, Ng was made the assistant director of baseball operations. During her time with Chicago, Ng made history as the first woman and youngest person to ever present an arbitration case; she won the case over Scott Boras who is known as one of the best agents in the country and has a reputation for getting large contracts for his players.
Following a brief stint working for the American League, Brian Cashman sought out Ng to be the Yankees’ assistant GM-she became the youngest in the MLB and is only one of 4 women to ever hold this position. Cashman had called Ng “indispensable to him,” commenting that she “was a tireless and dedicated executive back then, and in the ensuing years, she has ceaselessly added to her skill to maximize her talent.”
In 2002, Ng furthered her status in baseball when she joined the Dodgers serving as the assistant GM and vice president. Her most recent position has been with MLB working as the senior vice president of baseball operations.
Ng is well-deserving of her reputation as a fierce negotiator and a great baseball mind. Her resumé includes 3 World Series, 8 postseasons and 6 league championships. It’s unfortunate that a woman who was qualified to be a GM 15 years ago, did not become one until the age of 51 when the game saw a 28 year-old Theo Epstein become the youngest GM ever in 2002. This barrier was one that no one expected to ever see get taken down even as women progressed into the sport so Ng’s triumph over this obstacle is proof that women are constantly passed over despite having established themselves and need to be overqualified just to get through the door.
In comparison to the other 3 major sports, baseball has been one of the most progressive. In just the past two years, Melanie Newman became the first female play by play broadcaster for the Baltimore Orioles and is only one of four in the MLB, Alyssa Nakken became the first full-time MLB coach ever for the San Fransisco Giants, Rachel Balkovec and Rachel Folden became the first-ever hitting coaches working for the Yankees’ and Cubs’ minor league affiliates respectively, and Raquel Ferreira became the executive VP and assistant GM of the Red Sox which made her the highest-ranking woman in baseball operations (until Ng was made GM of the Marlins). When it comes to working in sports, women are just barely accepted as journalists which explains how critical and special Ng’s appointment is. As not just the first Asian American and female GM in baseball, but the first female GM in all of professional men’s sports in the United States, Ng is opening the door to all. Even if Ng was never made a GM, her experience proves that there is a spot for women in front offices, and they are not just capable but very good at their jobs.
On behalf of all the girls who are passionate about sports and are fighting an unnecessary battle to prove they belong, I extend my thanks to Kim Ng- an absolute inspiration and admirable trailblazer.