The signing of Kim Ng as general manager on November 13 was historic in more ways than one. Kim Ng became only the second Asian to lead a Major League team and the first female general manager. In addition, she is likely the first woman to become a general manager of any professional men’s sports team in North America.
At age 52, Kim Ng has plenty of experience in Major League Baseball, dating back to her first front office job with the White Sox from 1990-1996. From there, Kim Ng moved on to the Yankees from 1998 to 2001 and the Dodgers from 2002 through 2011. Ng’s time with the Yankees was during the same time that Derek Jeter enjoyed his most productive seasons as a player. Jeter, who is CEO and part owner of the Miami Marlins, has first-hand knowledge about Kim Ng and introduced her at a press conference on November 16.
The extraordinary number of emails and texts Kim Ng received since her hiring, totaling well over 1,000, has been overwhelming, but in the very best way. She noted, in the press conference at Marlins Park, that as the day went on, she realized how much impact this hiring was having on social media and she realized how important this moment was.
Kim Ng knew this was much more than just about baseball, and although she knew it was a big deal, just how this signing has affected people was beyond her expectations. Kim Ng realized that people are looking for hope and inspiration, and her message is that if you keep working hard, stay focused and driven, eventually your dreams can come true.
There is no doubt that Ng’s next dream is to become the first women general manager to lead a Major League team to a World Championship. The Marlins finished second in the NL East this year and appear to be on the rise. The next goal may be accomplished sooner rather than later.