A Cubs fan’s appreciation for the Marlins’ hiring of Kim Ng as general manager

Joseph Guzy/Miami Marlins Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Guzy/Miami Marlins Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /

The Marlins’ hiring of Kim Ng as general manager gives girls and women who love baseball, including myself, a glimmer of hope for the future.

Baseball lifer Kim Ng has finally broken Major League Baseball’s gender barrier. Last week, the Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng to serve as their general manager, making Ng the first female, as well as the second Asian-American, general manager in the league’s history. The impact of this hiring extends beyond baseball and the Chicago Cubs, as Ng is the first woman to assume the position of GM in any major North American men’s sports league. With the exuberant list of prior experience under Ng’s belt, this hiring is undoubtedly long overdue.

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The now 52-year-old trailblazer first got her foot in the door with Major League Baseball when she was 21 years old. After she graduated from the University of Chicago, Ng interned with the Chicago White Sox where she soon became a full-time analyst on the south side of Chicago and later the assistant director of baseball operations. Besides her tenure with the White Sox, Ng earned senior positions with both the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. Most recently, Ng was with MLB’s league office as its senior vice president of baseball operations, a position which she held since 2011.

After learning about her experience, it is clear that Ng’s ascendance to general manager is well deserved. However, it begs the question, why did it take this long for this monumental breakthrough to happen? While there is no good answer to this question, it is better late than never. But, in recent days, there has been a surge of female hirings at different levels of Major League Baseball. Almost a year ago, the Chicago Cubs added Rachel Folden to their minor league staff as a lab tech and fourth coach. Folden, 32, was the first woman to join the Cubs coaching staff in franchise history.

The same day that the Cubs announced their hiring of Folden, the New York Yankees announced the hiring of Rachel Balkovec to their club. Balkovec, 33, joined the Yankees as a full-time hitting coach and was the first full-time female minor league hitting coach to be hired by any big league organization. Since those hires, other women have been hired across the league, making progress towards giving more women career opportunities in baseball.

Notably, 30-year-old Alyssa Nakken was hired by the San Francisco Giants this past year as the first full-time female coach in MLB history. Nakken was also the first female to coach on the field during a major league game. The fact that Nakken and Ng were hired in the same year distinctively shows the strides that women have made in baseball, and how fast that progress has been made. In breaking these barriers, all of these women are influencing the younger generations to aim for jobs in the MLB, despite the league being traditionally male-dominated.

As a woman who is enamored with the game of baseball, this hiring gives me a glimmer of hope looking into the future. Until this year, I felt that it was highly unlikely, or even impossible that I would ever land my dream job, working for a Major League Baseball team. However, hirings like Kim Ng’s inspire me to keep working towards this goal and applying myself wherever possible.

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I am incredibly grateful for the women working in the industry now, especially Kim Ng who have paved the way for myself, as well as the future generations of girls and women to someday work at the highest levels of baseball.