The untold truth of the first female GM in baseball history

The Miami Marlins made baseball history on November 13, 2020, when they hired Kim Ng (pronounced Ang) as the team's new general manager. She is now believed to be the first woman to ever hold the position in Major League Baseball. According to Yahoo! Finance, Ng is now the highest-ranking woman in any MLB team's baseball operations, and is also the first Asian American GM in the league.

The team made the announcement with pride and said Ng has a bright future with the Marlins. "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," said Marlins CEO and former New York Yankee Derek Jeter 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."

The Marlins' official twitter account posted several photos detailing her history and experience in the league along with the text: "Making history by bringing a lifetime of excellence, Kim Ng steps to the helm as GM." Now the world is wondering who this impressive baseball executive is. Who is Kim Ng? And how did she become the top-ranking woman in the MLB?

Kim Ng's history with the MLB

According to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Ng got her start in the MLB as a research assistant for the Chicago White Sox in 1991, and was soon doing "everything from entering scouting reports to operating the radar gun." After the organization noticed her gift for working with numbers, she was given the responsibility of arbitrating the team's salaries, and was later promoted to a position she hadn't expected to hold: assistant director of baseball operations. "I never thought about working in operations for a sports organization. I thought that marketing or sports information would be more likely areas," said Ng. "I just didn't think there were opportunities in operations for someone like me until I went to the White Sox."

Now 51 years old, Ng has worked for the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers as assistant GM. With those organizations, she worked with teams that saw eight playoffs appearances and won three World Series titles. Her most recent gig before the Marlins was the league's senior vice president of baseball operations, a post she held for the past nine years. Ng is ready to take this experience and drive for success to Miami. "This challenge is one I don't take lightly," she said in a statement published by ESPN. "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."

Kim Ng has paid her dues

Although she may be one of very few women in baseball operations in the MLB, Ng doesn't like to dwell on that fact, preferring to focus the persistence and daily commitment required to find the level of success that she has. Still, as an Asian American woman she has faced challenges which others in the field haven't had to deal with. The SABR noted how she had been considered for GM positions with the Dodgers, the Mariners, and the Padres as far back as 2005, but kept getting passed over, despite having paid her dues and shown she could do the job.

She has also faced outright racism from others in the business. The L.A. Times reported an incident in 2003, during her time as assistant GM for the Dodgers, when former All-Star pitcher Bill Singer went full numbskull racist on her in a hotel bar after a series of general managers meetings that had been held there. After asking her what she was doing there — twice — and where she was from– also twice, egging her on to say that her family was from China, although she was born in Indianapolis — Singer devolved into making mock-Chinese sounds. He then stupidly asked, "What country in China?" Singer later apologized in an official statement. Declining to comment, Ng handled the incident with the characteristic professionalism that has gotten her to where she is today.