A couple of weeks ago, when I opened my Instagram, in the middle of the day, I was surprised to see an ESPN post of a photo of a woman with the words below “Marlins hire Kim Ng as MLB’s first female GM.”
I smiled and thought “It’s about time.” This is one of the few bright spots in my life from 2020.
Ng is the first female General Manager in any of the four major sports leagues and is the first Asian American GM in baseball. She overcame a lot of adversity to get to where she is today. Over the last 15 years, Ng has interviewed for numerous General Manager jobs and has 30 years of baseball experience, but finally got the job in 2020.
I have always been interested in sports, especially the NFL. As the Washington Nationals began enjoying success, I became increasingly interested in baseball. Now as a student at the University of Maryland, I’ve slowly gained an interest in both college football and basketball as I now have a school to root for. However, my love of sports was the one part of my identity I kept hidden from my classmates. Part of it was that I am a New York Jets fan from Maryland and didn’t want to admit that I was a fan. Another part was that I was afraid that my classmates would tease me and feel more isolated than I already was.
Despite my love for sports as a woman, I have never found anyone in the field that I consider a role model. That changed when the Marlins announced they had hired Ng. Her historic breakthrough is inspiring as it shows young women and girls that a woman can get involved in sports both as an athlete and non-athlete.Although other women have broken barriers in other sports such as the NFL and NBA, Ng’s hiring was different. In her position as GM, Ng is in a more of a leadership role whereas these women in other sports who have broken barriers haven’t yet been promoted to head coaching positions.
As a GM, Ng is in charge of the day-to-day operations and has a multitude of responsibilities. One of her most important roles will be personnel decisions, including what players to sign, trade, and draft as well as what coaches to hire. It’s really inspiring to young girls and women to see a woman involved in designing a professional team. For me, Ng’s hire provided a feeling of encouragement to embrace my love of sports and share it with the new friends I meet on campus in the spring. Although Ng does not have my dream job, I’m super excited to follow her journey as GM of the Marlins and see how she helps the franchise grow.