Some people call it perseverance. Others call it knocking on doors consistently. Or to use the sports jargon, “keep chopping wood.” Kim Ng did all of that throughout the years in the game, spanning 30 years. That mindset eventually would lead to the defining moment of her career in professional baseball: She was named general manager of the Miami Marlins in November 2020, a distinction worth noting for its historical benchmark. She is the first woman GM in any of the major men’s sports leagues in North America.
“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly,” Ng said in a statement released by the Marlins. “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.”
Ng, 51, began her career 30 years ago as an intern for the Chicago White Sox. She would eventually be promoted to senior positions with the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Most recently, she worked for Major League Baseball as senior vice president of baseball operations.
So when she got the call from Derek Jeter, chief executive officer of the Marlins, the emotions came fast and strong.
“It was quite a moment,” she said on Good Morning America. “And — honestly it was a relief and it felt like a 10,000[-pound] weight had been lifted off my shoulder.”
Her persistence and unwavering belief in herself and her ability to lead, despite the long road to reaching the pinnacle of her sport, is the Growing Bolder attitude in action.
The historic breakthrough did not break the Internet, but it most certainly made it smile. Ng was inundated with positive vibes from a diverse legion of fans, including former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“So excited to see Kim Ng named the first woman and first Asian-American General Manager in the MLB. I grew up loving the Cubs, but I’ll be cheering you on!” Obama tweeted.
Make that two former First ladies:
“To quote one of my favorite movies, ‘A League Of Their Own:’ It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great,’” Hillary Clinton tweeted.
“Congratulations to new Marlins GM Kim Ng!”
And this from baseball great Joe Torre:
“Congratulations Kim Ng for being named GM of the @Marlins,” Torre tweeted. “Having worked with Kim all these years, I’m excited to see her get this opportunity. Go Get ‘Em!!!”
Accolades are nice, but the work is just beginning. Although the Marlins have two World Series titles (1997, 2003), they have only made the playoffs once since then. They were swept by the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series in the abbreviated 2020 season.
“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 said in a statement released by the team.