Marlins General Manager Kim Ng makes history

Ng is the first woman in the history of Major League Baseball to become a general manager.



Kim Ng, seen here in 2018, is the first woman to be named the general manager of a Major League Baseball team. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

Kim Ng shattered a glass ceiling for women in sports this week, becoming the first female general manager in Major League Baseball history.

Ng was named General Manager of the Miami Marlins Nov. 13 after 30 years in baseball.

“It made me realize that it really was a glimmer of hope and inspiration for so many,” Ng told multiple news outlets at her introductory press conference Monday. “That if you work hard, and you persevere, and you’re driven, and you just keep going, then eventually your dreams will come true.”

Ng’s journey to the general manager has been coming for decades. She’s worked in the baseball industry since 1990, when she started as an intern for the Chicago White Sox at age 22. She was named Assistant Director of Baseball Operations for the White Sox in 1995.

In 1998, the New York Yankees hired Ng as an assistant general manager. The Yankees won three World Series during Ng’s tenure in New York.

University of Iowa Associate Professor of Instruction and Director of the Sport and Recreation Management program Dan Matheson worked with Ng while she was with the Yankees. Matheson was the Yankees’ director of baseball operations from 1996 to 2001.

“She was unbelievable,” Matheson said. “Incredibly bright, tremendous work ethic, very poised and professional… She brought a lot of experience, even early in her career, to anything that we were doing.”

Like Matheson, Ng left the Yankees in 2001. She became an assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After 10 years with the Dodgers, Ng was named MLB Vice President of Baseball Operations.

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Despite her qualifications, many teams passed on Ng during their search for general managers.

She interviewed for the Dodgers’ GM position in 2005, but Ned Colleti was the candidate the Los Angeles team ultimately selected.

Matheson said the challenges Ng faced can be attributed to the traditionally male-dominated nature of the industry.

“It clearly is an example of the hurdles that women face advancing in the industry, in a traditionally male-dominated industry,” he said. “While I’m encouraged and grateful that the Marlins and Major League Baseball have broken that barrier within their sport, there’s still a long ways to go and it’s, you know, I wish that she could’ve gotten the first job she interviewed for, but I’m sure that with even more time and experience, she will be exceptionally well prepared for the opportunity that she has now.”

The Marlins organization is owned by former Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter won three championships with the Yankees, thanks in part to Ng’s leadership. Now, Jeter is bringing Ng to Miami in hopes of elevating the team he owns.

As an Asian-American woman, Ng is breaking barriers and setting examples for people around the world.

“I’m just so happy for her and happy for the example that she has set for so many women of what’s possible,” Matheson said. “And I hope that she will continue – she already has throughout her career – but I hope she’ll continue to be a source of inspiration for girls and young women that want to break into the sports industry in typically male-dominated roles.”