Kim Ng Makes MLB History as Marlins Secure Playoff Spot


The Miami Marlins' locker room was filled with the familiar jubilation of a team clinching a playoff spot. Beer and champagne sprayed, smiles and hugs exchanged, and cheers echoed. However, this celebration had a groundbreaking element: the general manager at the center of it all was a woman.

Kim Ng, at 54, shattered a longstanding barrier when she became the first woman to hold the top executive position at an MLB team. Her appointment came in 2020, with the support of baseball legend Derek Jeter, bringing a new era to the Marlins.

In just her third season, Ng has guided the Marlins back to the postseason, marking a significant achievement for the team since 2003. Ng humorously remarked, "It took about three showers to get that smell out," during an interview with the Marlins broadcast crew.

Before Ng's historic appointment, no woman had ever served as a general manager in MLB, or in any of the four major North American sports leagues, for that matter. As the GM, Ng oversees the entire operation, reporting directly to ownership.

Ng's hiring garnered praise from prominent figures like Michelle Obama, and tennis icons Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, all of whom inspired Ng with their unwavering advocacy for women in sports.

"I do feel quite a lot of responsibility. I have my entire career," Ng expressed in a press conference shortly after her appointment. "You're bearing the torch for so many. And that is a big responsibility, but I take it on."

Ng's journey began as an unpaid intern with the Chicago White Sox, where she often stood as one of the few women in various pioneering roles. She was the first to present and win a major league salary arbitration case, the second woman hired as an assistant general manager, and held the highest-ranking position for a woman in MLB as senior vice president of baseball operations.

Before joining the Marlins, Ng had interviewed for at least five other GM positions. Reflecting on the challenges, she said in 2020, "After so many times, you feel deflated, you feel like, maybe it's not going to happen."

Upon taking the reins, Ng orchestrated a strategic overhaul of the team's roster through trades, free agency acquisitions, and astute drafting. She also appointed first-time manager Skip Schumaker ahead of this season.

Her endeavors have paid off, with the Marlins boasting an 84-77 record, their best winning percentage since 2009. Their playoff journey begins with Game 1 of the wild-card series against the Philadelphia Phillies, with players and coaches vocally supporting Ng's leadership.

"That's Mama Kim right there," declared star center fielder Jazz Chisholm, Jr., in a post-game interview. "She's been doing the right things, making the right moves every year. This year just shows what she can do. I hope she stays with us and hope we get more in the future."