Kim Ng, General Manager
If you’ve scanned headlines recently, you’ll know a few things: There’s a commotion going on regarding the Presidential election, but more importantly, in the stodgy old boys’ club of Major League Baseball, we had a seminal moment occur Friday, November 13th.
No ignominy attached here, just pure joy and awe on the part of this writer.
I received an update from multiple apps, including ESPN, NBC News, and the New York Times. The headline? “The Miami Marlins name Kim Ng as general manager.” Subhead? “After 30 years in the game, she is the first woman in baseball to hold the title.”
Readers, this is a momentous occasion. Not just for me, the woman sports fan. But for all of you reading with daughters or nieces. More and more, we see women making strides in worlds often filled with obstacles or just straight-up blocked us from making any headway.
First, I want to offer my congratulations (meager though they are, it’s not like I’ve ever met Kim Ng in my life). Ng has broken a glass ceiling (there are shards all over the place these days, and I couldn’t be happier about this) after 30 years of giving her life to MLB.
From ESPN, I found this great snippet of just a few words detailing what all Ng has done in her career for the game, “Ng, 51, has most recently served as MLB's senior vice president of baseball operations for the past nine years when she was the highest-ranking Asian American female baseball executive. She has also served as assistant general manager for the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, working with teams that made the playoffs eight times and won three World Series titles.”
I mean, if that’s not a GM-level pedigree, I don’t know what is. Then again, I’m just a fan of the game who finds perverse joy in shutting down man-splainers who think I need to learn what the infield fly rule is. Newsflash: I’ve known since I was 10, thankyouverymuch.
For me, as a baseball fan and the world’s #1 cheerleader for my dear friend Joe Sheehan and his Newsletter, this is a well-deserved opportunity for a GM candidate who had earned their stripes. As a woman, I am ecstatic that there is a lady GM who will continue to blaze trails within the world of baseball.
MLB Commish Rob Manfred (insert boos here) made a fairly "meh" statement that fell in line with his milquetoast personality. For me, again, lady sports fan here; it’s more than just “set[ting] a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball and softball.” But I’m no friend of Rob’s.
Whatever happens in South Florida over the years of Ng’s tenure, she’s got less of an uphill battle than some of her male counterparts, even being in the South Florida market. The Marlins surprised many of us with their run to the playoffs in 2020 (yes, it was a weird half-season, and duh, COVID). She inherits one of the lowest payrolls in the league, a rabid but tiny fanbase, and a city that suffers from a massive case of “what have you done for me lately” when it comes to filling the stands (assuming we can ever go back to watching live sports).
However, she’s no slouch, and her pedigree of climbing the MLB boys club ranks demonstrates she knows how to play the game (pun intended) and will likely find success with the scrappy group she’s got. Worst case, she’s got the endorsement of Derek Jeter, which is no small feat.
I’m a Red Sox fan, so the NL East is geographically close but metaphorically off my radar. But maybe 2021 will give me a little more impetus to hop over and see what’s happening down in South Florida. Solidarity, after all.
Photo Courtesy: Kirby Lee/USA Today
Bio: Ashley Ragland doesn’t want to hear any flak about how a SoCal native can love the Red Sox and Patriots as much as she does. For more thoughts and opinions on life, sports, and everything in between, you can find her on Twitter (@ashleyragland14) and Instagram (@ashleykate314).