Kim Ng has long been viewed as the person who would break one of baseball’s most stubborn barriers.
Thirty years ago, Ng, 51, started work in the game as an intern for the Chicago White Sox, attempting to carve out a career in a sport dominated by men. She worked her way up, earning senior positions with the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers and, most recently, serving as Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of baseball operations.
On Friday, she became the first woman hired to run a major league team’s baseball operations when she was named general manager of the Miami Marlins.
“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly,” Ng said in a statement released by the team. “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.”
The significance of Ng’s hiring extends beyond baseball, as she is the first woman to be a general manager in any of the major men’s sports leagues in North America. The move, to many in baseball, was considered long overdue and comes at a time when several other women are moving up the ranks of the sport after years of resistance, and as women begin to populate the benches and boardrooms of professional football and basketball teams.
“I felt from 15 years ago that she was always the best candidate for the job, and for whatever reason, people weren’t prepared to make that move,” said Dan Evans, who in 1990 hired Ng as an intern for the Chicago White Sox. “So I congratulate the Marlins, because this is not just a baseball move, this is a generational move. Young women throughout the world view Kim differently today, and this gives them hope that that platform could be theirs someday.”
Ng (pronounced “ANG”) has a formidable resume: After seven years with the White Sox, she spent 13 as an assistant general manager, first with the Yankees before leaving in 2002 to rejoin Evans, who was running the Dodgers.