Kim Ng Shatters Baseball’s Glass Ceiling as the Marlins’ New GM
Late last week, Kim Ng was announced as the Miami Marlins’ new General Manager. Given her deep baseball resume, the move shouldn’t have been shocking, but the significance of the appointment has made news around the world.
Ng’s new role makes her the first female GM in all of the North American men’s major league sports, not just baseball. Furthermore, she is the first Asian American GM in baseball history.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement, "Kim’s appointment makes history in all of professional sports” and that the move “sets a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball and softball.“
This offseason Ng, who is responsible for building the team, is hitting the ground running. She said, “The first thing that needs to be done is I’ve got to really familiarize myself with all the ins and outs of the players on the 40-man roster, as well as in our Minor League system.”
As she takes on this new challenge she will rely on her more than 30 years of experience in Major League Baseball, including 21 years in front office positions at the Chicago White Sox, the New York Yankees, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The University of Chicago graduate has also worked at the MLB’s central office since 2011, where she most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development.
Ng’s vision for the Marlins doesn’t stop at the end of the team’s 40-man roster, as she wants to get out in the community more. “I want the Marlins to be seen as a pillar of the community,” Ng stated. “I will be out there at different functions, to make sure that people understand who we were, where we're going and where we want to take this organization.”
This community work could also involve expanding the team’s youth baseball and softball initiatives to grow the popularity of the game among local kids, according to Marlins CEO Derek Jeter. This task is imperative to the future of the sport, as the average age of a viewer of a local MLB broadcast is over 55 and participation in youth baseball has been falling.
To grow beyond the stadium, Ng will likely rely on the help of another one of the MLB’s highest-ranking women, Caroline O’Conner, the Marlin’s Chief Operating Officer. O’Conner, a former Morgan Stanley executive, joined the team in 2017 and has been a central figure in the team’s success. She has also had a great deal of input in the team’s youth baseball and softball initiative, which involves 136 South Florida little league teams totaling approximately 1,600 young players.
In 2021, the refreshed Marlins have a lot to look forward to, as they have assembled a talented and diverse leadership team that is capable of guiding the organization to long-term success both inside and outside of the ballpark.
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