Who is Kim Ng, The First Female GM in Baseball?
Kim Ng (pronounced Ang), a former Assistant General Manager under Brian Cashman with the Yankees (1998-2001), was announced yesterday to be the next General Manager of the Miami Marlins. Let’s take a look at why this move makes so much sense.
Ng pictured with GM Brian Cashman and Manager Joe Torre at Yankees Spring Training in 2000.
Getting Started in Major League Baseball:
Ng was no stranger to baseball when leaving college as she played for the University of Chicago softball team, earning MVP infielder honors along with a B.A. in public policy in 1990. She expressed that leaving college she was expecting to go into investment banking or getting involved with more individualized in marketing with sports like golf and tennis- both of which have a serious women’s fields. However, while she was interviewing for jobs in New York City with investment banks Kim was presented with a different opportunity.
It was during her senior year that she learned of an interning position with the Chicago White Sox, and thus a career in baseball had started. Ng, who was asked if she knew how to calculate ERA at one of her initial interviews with the White Sox, quickly separated herself from the group. And not because she was one of the only women.
Ng was officially hired by the White Sox in 1991 to be an assistant director of baseball operations, a position she would hold until 1996. The year before leaving, Ng negotiated (and obviously won) the arbitration case for the White Sox against pitcher Alex Fernandez, becoming the first woman to do so. (This will be a theme.) After her White Sox tenure, Ng went to the Offices of the American League as a director of waivers and records, where she approved all MLB transactions, in 1997.
Then, in 1998, Ng was brought on my GM Brian Cashman as an Assistant General Manager, joining former Red Sox Elaine Weddington Steward as the only other woman to hold the position. (Later, current Red Sox EVP/AGM Raquel Ferreira and current Yankees AGM Jean Afterman would also break this barrier, replacing Ng in her role after she left.) During her time with the Yankees from 1998-2001, Ng would be a part of 3 World Series teams before moving on to be the VP/AGM with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2001 season.
The General Manager Pursuit:
After working with the Dodgers for a few seasons, in 2005 Ng had interviewed for the Dodgers GM position, ultimately being passed by for Ned Colletti, who offered her to stay at the AGM position with him. Ng would accept and ultimately stick with the Dodgers in to 2011.
During this time, Ng had interviewed with many other teams when GM openings were available: the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angles, and San Francisco Giants. But, the position would evade her still.
It was during the 2011 season when Ng would move on from the Dodgers, accepting a position to work under former Yankees manager Joe Torre in the Major League Baseball Offices as the Senior VP of Baseball Operations. In her role, Ng oversaw international scouting and development and helped the MLB with planting roots and continuing to facilitate and grow MLB interest and talent across Latin America, Mexico, China, India, and Brazil.
Then, yesterday, we all finally heard the news:
The Miami Marlins:
On November 13th, 2020, the Miami Marlins announced that Kim Ng would take over as their next General Manager.
And, is it any surprise that Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, along with front office executive Gary Denbo would look to excite the franchise with bringing in another former Yankees face? Across the baseball world, this move seems to be long overdue for Ng, and the Marlins seem to be the perfect situation. Aside from Jeter and Denbo, another former Yankee, skipper Don Mattingly, just led the team to their first postseason since 2003 and winning the NL Manager of the Year award.
They are truly putting together a team of winners.
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
Ng’s General Manager Statement (as seen in the Tweet above):
“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.
“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 year, laid a great foundation for success. This challenge is one I don’t take lightly. 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.”
High Praise for the Move:
Among those with those same top positions in baseball, let’s a take a look at how they are reacting to the announcement from yesterday.
Brian Cashman and Jean Afterman:
Statements from Brian Cashman & Jean Afterman congratulating Kim Ng: pic.twitter.com/HXJQPcZCIx — New York Yankees (@Yankees) November 13, 2020
White Sox President Howard Pizer:
“When Kim Ng walked through our ballpark’s doors to begin her Major League Baseball career, she quickly impressed us all with her knowledge, drive and hard work. We are very proud to be one of the fortunate organizations to have worked with Kim on her journey into a role she truly deserves and earned.
“Baseball is stronger when people of all backgrounds, experiences and identities are involved. Kim most certainly is proof of that, and her friends at the White Sox celebrate her accomplishment. … We are so proud of her start with us and congratulate her on this historic first.”
Former Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti:
Not just an historic choice, but an outstanding choice. I have known Kim for decades and we worked together @Dodgers. Kim has been prepared for this moment in time for a very long time. Very happy for her! https://t.co/5Y65I8Uizs — Ned Colletti (@realnedcolletti) November 13, 2020
Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein:
“Kim is universally respected around the game and is so clearly qualified for this job. It’s a great day for the industry and all those who work in it.”