A historic milestone was achieved on November 13, 2020, when the MLB’s Miami Marlins named Kim Ng – the first woman as well as the first person of Asian descent – as the team’s new general manager. Ng is a Ridgewood High School graduate of 1986 who played both softball and tennis at RHS. She was later the softball captain at the University of Chicago as a fierce middle infielder. It’s undoubtedly an honor to have an alumnus of RHS attain such a high position in a major American sport and even more so when that person has overcome the challenges of being a minority in a profession dominated by men.
Ng worked incredibly hard to get where she is. After graduating from UChicago, she interned with the Chicago White Sox. The following year she was hired full time as a special projects analyst. Over the next few years, Ng worked diligently for the White Sox. Her patience and perseverance led to her being recruited as assistant general manager for the New York Yankees in 1998. At the age of 29, she was the youngest baseball executive and one of only four women to hold that title. Ng then moved to the front offices of the LA Dodgers and the MLB, holding similar high-level positions. Although she would interview for general manager positions with the Dodgers as well as a number of other teams over the years, It wasn’t until this November when the Marlins hired her that Ng would succeed in reaching her goal.
The Marlins are run by CEO Derek Jeter, who believed that she would be the best fit for the job. Yes, Jeter, the Hall of Famer, and a five-time World Series champion. He noted recently that she would bring “… a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Marlins.” Ng describes herself as someone who is “dogged in the pursuit of (her) goals”, and looking at her accomplishments thus far, it’s easy to see that her mentality truly sets her apart.
In 2015, Forbes ranked her #13 on its list of the most influential minorities in sports and #5 on its list of the most powerful women in sports. In 2017, Adweek magazine named Ng one of the most powerful women in sports. That is certainly true given her accomplishments, and she has paved a new pathway for women in the profession. Ng deserves all the acclaim, not just because she’s the first woman to become GM, but because she shows that hard work, determination and talent mean there’s no limit to what a person can accomplish. Sophomore baseball player, Calder Warden emphasizes that “it shows kids that you can make it big in the sports industry based on your accomplishments and experience.”
Joining the ranks of the few women who have been breaking history this year, Ng is especially worth highlighting given her roots in Ridgewood. Reese Taubin, a sophomore at RHS sums up Ng’s story within the RHS context perfectly, as he “noticed that professional sports have gained a lot of diversity, especially with gender. This leads a strong path for RHS students and reveals how you can go out into the world to do what you want. As an RHS student, I feel that what she accomplished is an incredible way to represent our school.” We wish her the best of luck!
Graphic: Tess Cundiff