The Marlins hired Ng on Friday as their new general manager, making her the first woman GM in MLB history. She also became the first woman GM of a major men’s American professional sports team, period.
“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.
Ng, 51, has spent three decades in the baseball industry and was expected to become the sport’s first-ever woman GM for the better part of those 30 years. She was hired as an intern for the Chicago White Sox in 1990, after graduating from the University of Chicago and growing up in Queens and New Jersey. Ng climbed the ranks and became the Sox' assistant director of baseball operations by 1996.
At 26 years old, she became the youngest person and the first woman to present a salary arbitration case in the major leagues. Ng went head-to-head against super-agent Scott Boras in pursuit of saving the White Sox hundreds of thousands of dollars on his client, pitcher Alex Fernandez, and won.
“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly,” Ng said on Friday. “When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely that a woman would lead a Major League Baseball team, but I am dogged in pursuit of my goals.”
Ng (pronounced Ang) was hired by the Yankees in 1998 to work alongside GM Brian Cashman as his assistant general manager. She became second-in-command in day-to-day baseball ops decisions for the team with the second-highest payroll in baseball. Ng was the youngest in the big leagues, at age 29, and only one of four women to hold that position.
“She was the best person to do the job,” Cashman said. “But with Kim, being the first time we would hire a woman in that position, I had to go to my owner and I did not know how he would react to that suggestion.”
After four years and three World Series championships with the Yankees, Ng was hired by the Dodgers in 2002 to become their assistant GM. In 2005, she interviewed to become the GM of the Dodgers and became the first woman to do so for that position, but she didn’t get the job. Ever since, Ng’s name would show up for many notable GM openings, including the Mets in 2018, through the years.
Since 2011, she had served as MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations as the highest-ranking woman in baseball.
“We look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins,” Jeter said in a statement Friday. “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 has been featured on noteworthy lists, including Forbes' Most Influential Minorities in Sports and Most Powerful Women in Sports. She succeeds former GM Michael Hill and joins Marlins COO Caroline O’Connor as the highest-ranking women executives on the club.
“My goal is now to bring championship baseball to Miami,” Ng said on Friday. “I am both humbled and eager to continue to build the winning culture our fans expect and deserve.”
The commissioner released a statement on Ng’s hiring.
“All of us at Major League Baseball are thrilled for Kim and the opportunity she has earned with the Marlins,” Rob Manfred said. “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... We wish Kim all the best as she begins her career with the Marlins."