Marlins make Kim Ng First Woman GM in MLB History
Trailblazing Kim Ng opens door, inspires women throughout sports world
When I began my career in baseball in February 2007 at the Dodgers, we had a trailblazer in the front office. Vice president and assistant general manager Kim Ng was on the executive side of the office in baseball operations.
For the majority of her 30 years in baseball, Kim has been qualified to serve as Major League Baseball team’s general manager. It hadn’t happened until today, 15 years after she interviewed for that same position with the Dodgers.
“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,” Kim said in today’s Marlins’ statement.
Decades of determination, three decades in the making. The path was certainly not easy. The path, in fact, didn’t exist until today.
If you know Kim, who worked with the Dodgers from 2002-2011, you’re better for it. Many people throughout the game who have worked closely with Kim can offer countless anecdotes on what it’s like to learn from her day-to-day. I haven’t had that honor, but I’m proud to recognize her as a former colleague who instead of giving me a few minutes of her time at the office, took me, a young Latina new to the game, to lunch one day.
I listened. I observed. I learned.
Kim Ng taught many lessons
I learned how I should communicate and present myself within this game. While my path is very different from Kim’s, I learned fundamentally who I wanted to be in baseball from her.
I also learned to be a badass.
In the years after she left the Dodgers in 2011, any time we’d cross paths are moments I remember as highlights. In Mexico at a game once, she asked to catch up with me and Fernando Valenzuela. She joined us in his family’s suite. Fernando has the utmost respect for her too.
My last project before leaving the Dodgers was the re-dedication of Campo Las Palmas in Guerra, Dominican Republic, in January 2017. That was a couple months before I began my current role at Wasserman.
The President of the Dominican Republic was also scheduled to attend as well as Dodger legend Ramon Martinez, whom I always wanted to meet. As soon as I was told Kim was part of the MLB commissioner’s contingent who would be in attendance, my focus shifted.
I began focusing on finding my former colleague, not meeting Ramon nor being introduced to the leader of a nation.
It was a hot day and as soon as the press conference concluded, I ran around the complex to catch up with the MLB group who were touring the renovated facility. An MLB public relations friend I ran into pointed me in the right direction. Sweating, carrying a pile of press releases, I found her, “KIM!”
Kim Ng remains approachable
I enthusiastically shared my career news, and she offered her congratulations and best wishes. As she always had before, she offered me any support I may need along the way.
I’ve yet to meet a trailblazer more approachable, supportive and humble. A three-decade-long journey to making history as the first woman, first Asian-American woman and the first woman of color to hold the position of general manager for an MLB team. As long and arduous a process it must have been for her, every step of the way, she’s made the game more accessible for me and for countless others who’ve been wanting today to happen for many years.
Just a week ago, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the first woman and first woman of color to hold that office declared, “But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. … Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they’ve never seen it before, but know that we will applaud you every step of the way.”
We’ve been waiting, we’ve been rooting for you and we applaud you, Kim. Congratulations and thank you.
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