The Miami Marlins have made history. The Marlins named Kim Ng their new general manager on Friday, the team announced. She is the first female general manager in baseball history and is believed to be the first female general manager in a North American men’s pro sports league. Ng is also the first Asian-American general manager in baseball history.
«On behalf of Principal Owner Bruce Sherman and our entire ownership group, we look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins,» Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement. «Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path toward sustained success. Additionally, her extensive work in expanding youth baseball and softball initiatives will enhance our efforts to grow the game among our local youth as we continue to make a positive impact on the South Florida community.»
Ng, 51, is more than qualified to be a general manager. She started her career as an intern with the White Sox in 1990 and was hired by the team full-time the next year, then was named assistant director of baseball operations in 1995. Ng left Chicago in 1996 and spent 1997 overseeing transactions as the American League’s director of waivers and records.
In 1998, Yankees GM Brian Cashman hired Ng as an assistant general manager, making her the youngest person to hold the position at the time. She won three World Series titles with New York before leaving in 2001, when she joined the Dodgers as an assistant general manager. Ng left Los Angeles in 2011 and became MLB‘s senior vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner’s office.
«I was truly excited for Kim when I learned that she had been named General Manager of the Miami Marlins,» Cashman said in a statement. «It is wonderful seeing people accomplish their stated goals, and this has been a dream of hers for as long as I’ve known her. As Assistant General Manager with the Yankees, she was indispensable to me when I first began my tenure as the GM. Kim was a tireless and dedicated executive back then, and in the ensuing years, she has ceaselessly added to her skill set to maximize her talent. She will provide the Marlins with vast experience and institutional knowledge along with a calm demeanor and an amazing ability to connect with others — all of which will serve her well in her new leadership role as head of baseball operations. I offer my congratulations to her and to the Marlins organization.»
Commissioner Rob Manfred added: «All of us at Major League Baseball are thrilled for Kim and the opportunity she has earned with the Marlins. Kim’s appointment makes history in all of professional sports and sets a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball and softball. The hard work, leadership, and record of achievement throughout her long career in the National Pastime led to this outcome, and we wish Kim all the best as she begins her career with the Marlins.»
Ng and Jeter go back to their time with the Yankees — Ng also worked with Gary Denbo, Jeter’s righthand man, while with the Yankees — but make no mistake, this is not a token hire. She had previously interviewed for general manager jobs with the Angels, Giants, Mariners, and Padres, and has experience in all front office domains. Scouting, analytics, arbitration, you name it. Few executives are as well-rounded.
«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,» Ng said in a statement. » 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 added: «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.»
Ng is now the highest ranking woman in an MLB front office. Raquel Ferreira serves as an executive vice president and assistant general manager with the Red Sox, and Jean Afterman holds the same role with the Yankees. Cashman brought Afterman aboard as assistant general manager after Ng left to join the Dodgers.
«When I succeeded Kim as the Assistant General Manager of the Yankees almost 20 years ago, I knew that I needed to up my game to match hers — Kim had set a high standard. Her hiring demonstrates what I have long said, that to be a GM in Major League Baseball, you need intelligence, vision and experience,» Afterman said in a statement Friday. «These qualities of leadership, which Kim possesses in abundance, are gender-blind. It is a tremendous achievement to be the first female GM in Major League Baseball, and I hope young girls (and boys) take notice of this and further understand that there are no limits to their dreams. I congratulate the Marlins — that after a remarkable season, during extraordinary times — they have broken a barrier that needed shattering.»
The Marlins went 31-29 this past season and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2003. They have built a strong young talent base in recent years, including righty Sixto Sanchez and shortstop Jazz Chisholm, and are now looking to make the permanent jump from rebuilder to contender.
The Angels named Braves assistant GM Perry Minasian their new general manager earlier this week. The Mets are currently looking to fill their front office after new owner Steve Cohen cleaned house last week. The Phillies have an interim GM at the moment as well.