It had been rumored that the Miami Marlins were leaning toward an outside-the-box hire in their search for a new general manager. Most took that as a sign the team might be hiring an analytics expert or someone outside of traditional baseball circles.
As it turns out, all predictions were way off. The hire was so much cooler than that, and, historically, more outside-the-box than anyone from within the box has ventured.
The Marlins announced on Friday morning they've hired longtime baseball executive Kim Ng as their new general manager, making her the first woman in MLB history to hold that position, and for that matter, the first among North America’s major men’s professional sports leagues.
Ng doesn't exactly come to Miami as a rookie. She has more than 20 years of experience as a baseball executive, including stints with the Chicago White Sox (1990-96), New York Yankees (1998-2001), and Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-11). One might notice those Yankees seasons coincided with the peak of current Marlins shot caller Derek Jeter's playing days.
Most impressively, Ng has spent the past nine seasons as MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations. So yeah, she's beyond qualified to run a baseball team.
In a team press release, Ng expressed her excitement to lead the new look-new vibe Marlins into 2021 and beyond.
“I entered Major League Baseball as an intern and, after decades of determination, it is the honor of my career to lead the Miami Marlins as their next General Manager,” Ng said.
"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."
Ng added that she is eager to jump on the opportunity to not only take on a job no woman before her has ever had but get to work on bringing a third Marlins championship to Miami.
“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly. 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 said.
The entire sports world celebrated the hire for bashing through another layer of the glass ceiling.
Ng takes over a Marlins organization that is undeniably ascending. The farm system — once ranked dead last in MLB — is now considered one of the best in the league. The Marlins are coming off a season that featured their first playoff appearance since 2003, and a series win over the favored Chicago Cubs.
There is excitement about baseball in Miami again, but more importantly, it's clear the Miami Marlins organizational culture is as healthy as it's ever been. The progressive hire of Ng only drives home the fact that the Marlins will leave no option on the table when it comes to their pursuit of a title.