The announcement was both momentous — for its glass-ceiling-shattering impact — and perfectly mundane, owing to Ng’s impeccable qualifications: seven years in the Chicago White Sox’s front office, beginning as an intern and working her way up to assistant director of baseball operations; stints as assistant GM for the New York Yankees (1998 to 2001) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2002 to 2011); and nearly a decade in the central office of MLB, topping out as senior vice president of baseball operations. She has three World Series rings from her time with the Yankees.
“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly,” Ng said in a statement. “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. My goal is now to bring Championship baseball to Miami. I am both humbled and eager to continue building the winning culture our fans expect and deserve.”
Ng had interviewed at least four times previously for GM jobs, falling short each time. Her hiring in Miami appears to have been spearheaded by former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, the Hall of Famer who knew Ng well from their time together in the Bronx and is now the Marlins’ CEO and part-owner. Jeter, who is biracial, has made diversity one of the hallmarks of his tenure with the Marlins. Also, Manager Don Mattingly coached and managed under Ng with the Dodgers.
“[We] look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins,” Jeter said in a statement. “Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path toward sustained success.”
The Marlins are coming off a remarkable season in which they endured an eight-day shutdown amid a coronavirus outbreak, then recovered to post a 31-29 record — one year after going 57-105 — and earn just the third playoff berth in the franchise’s 28-year history. When they resumed play following their outbreak, the Marlins had to replace 18 players at once. Mattingly, not surprisingly, was voted the National League’s manager of the year.
Ng takes over a franchise on the upswing, replacing longtime GM Michael Hill, who was let go at the end of the season. In Baseball America’s 2020 midseason rankings, the Marlins were rated the ninth-best franchise in terms of organizational talent.
“[It] is the honor of my career to lead the Miami Marlins as their next General Manager,” Ng said in the statement. “We are building for the long term in South Florida, developing a forward-thinking, collaborative, creative baseball operation made up of incredibly talented and dedicated staff who have, over the last few years, laid a great foundation for success.”