The Miami Marlins introduced Kim Ng as their new general manager today, streaming live on Twitter and broadcast on MLB Network. Though it was a muted affair because of coronavirus protocols – the magnitude of the moment was anything but. Ng received over 1,000 messages of congratulations “from all walks,” including writers, former players, current managers, scouts, executives, and others. Per Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald (via Twitter), Ng said:
The idea that it has effected this many people is just extraordinary. I thought it would be a big deal, but this is beyond my expectations … People are looking for hope, are looking for inspiration. I’m happy this is part of it.”
The defining characteristic of her journey, said Ng, was fearlessness. She recognized Marlins CEO Derek Jeter for setting an example for the sort of fearlessness needed to be a great player, and for now demonstrating similar fortitude as an executive. As much courage as she needed to interview for position after position over the years, it would seem she landed in the right place. Ng lauded the Miami organization for building a diverse organization:
The information has become more precise, but you can’t ignore the different perspectives needed.”
Involving as many voices as possible was a theme for Ng throughout the day. She spoke about the ease with which she’s been able to communicate within the Marlins organization already, credited to her experience and level of comfort with, among others, Gary Denbo, Jeter, and Don Mattingly, the latter of whom she worked with in Los Angeles.
Interestingly, Ng said that she hasn’t faced much overt resistance in the day-to-day throughout her career, from a discrimination standpoint. She did, however, admit that some of the time when she interviewed for GM roles, she felt it wasn’t exactly on the “up-and-up.” And while she recognized the potential tokenism, she also credited those moments for getting her name out there and furthering the process that ultimately came to fruition with the Marlins.
Her graciousness aside, this moment was a long time coming, and it’s a comfort to many. Per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter), Ng said:
I thought it would be a big deal, but this is beyond my expectations . . . People are looking for hope. People are looking for inspiration. I’m happy that this is part of it.”
In terms of her plans for the Marlins, being seen as a “pillar of the community” is a priority for the business side, being visible and active as a source for change and growth in Miami. On the baseball side, too much remains in limbo in terms of coronavirus to lay out specific plans for next season at this time. Making baseball decisions, however, will be a collaborative process involving many people from different areas within the organization.
In sum, as the first woman to hold the title of general manager, Ng will forever be an icon and a trailblazer in the sport. As such, Ng’s biggest piece of advice was this:
Tell people what you think…you have your opinion, just voice it.”