MIAMI – The Miami Marlins held a news conference on Monday to introduce their new general manager Kim Ng.
She becomes the first female GM in the major North American men’s sports leagues.
Ng spent 30 years in baseball before getting the Marlins job. She said that she received an outpouring of joy after the Marlins named their historic hire.
“I realized it was a moment of hope and inspiration for so many," Ng said. "If you work hard and just keep going, then eventually your dream will come true.”
Ng said she reflected on what it took to get to where she is.
She credited her fearlessness with the ability to land the job.
She worked with Marlins CEO Derek Jeter while he was a shortstop for the New York Yankees.
Ng said she looked at the Marlins media guide and was struck by the fact that there were so many different types of people who work for the team.
Ng said the Marlins are an organization that takes in people from different perspectives and backgrounds.
Ng said she wants to use all of that experience to build a championship club in Miami.
Ng said, “This ballclub. We want to be a pillar of the community. I’ve been able to talk to many senior leaders of the Marlins and what struck me was the cohesiveness of this group... To really bring the Miami Marlins to forefront of this community.”
Ng says her relationship with Don Mattingly and Gary Denbo will help make the transition to her new job smoother.
Ng said “The idea that it has effected this many people is extraordinary. I thought it would be a big deal but this is beyond my expectations... People are looking for hope, people are looking for inspiration and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Ng said she looked up to Billy Jean King and Martina Navratilova when she was a kid and they were influential in her life.
In terms of resistance and push-back, Ng said that she’s been able to win people over.
Over the last 10 years interviewing for General Manager jobs, she said there wasn’t much push-back.
Ng said, “It’s the idea that you have to keep plowing through. It’s what I tell the players. You can sulk for a few days, but then you have to come back.”
Ng said that she tried to learn from every interview along the way.
She said she leaned on her husband, friends, and family during the long process.
She said that going through that failure publicly was difficult, but what was important for her was to keep going.
Ng said, “I’m not sure how many people told me they were now Marlins fans but it had to be at least 500 people... I was gonna tell Derek he should stock up on more hats. So many people have already put in orders. In terms of these little girls, it means the world to me. Anyone who knows me, know I have spent countless hours advocating for young girls, advocating for young women. Now having this high-profile position... There’s this adage, you can’t be it if you can’t see it.”
Ng said when she got the job, there was a 10,000 pound weight off one shoulder and it had transferred to the other. She said she feels a lot of responsibility.
Ng recognized that she’s bearing the torch for so many, and she takes on that responsibility.
Even if she didn’t get this job, Ng said that she wouldn’t consider it a failure because of the reputation that she was able to build over time.
Ng said, “You pick yourself up, you brush yourself off and you get right back in there again.”
Ng said she knew that she could be a General Manager when she was with the Dodgers.
Ng said, “I never really had that ah-ha moment... I never really looked at the end of the rainbow, it was a step-by-step process... So again, there wasn’t this carrot hanging out there until I became an assistant GM.”
She started playing softball growing up in Queens, New York playing stickball.
She didn’t play in an organized softball league until she was 12 years old.
Ng said her fearlessness developed when she was in high school. She was not a kid who followed with the rest of the group and did her own thing.
Ng said in order to make good decisions, an organization needs all sorts of resources in the room.
If an organization doesn’t use them, Ng said, “Shame on you, shame on you.”
Ng said seeing little girls inspires her because “They just don’t see women. They’re too young... I marvel at some of the girl athletes that I speak with... I wish I could be as carefree as they. They’re just doing something that they love. They are inspiration to me.”
Ng said she was glad to go to New York because with the Yankees she had the chance to see what winning at a really high-level looks like.
From a business perspective, Ng wants to be out there more in the community and to let people know more about who they are and where they’re going as an organization.
Ng said, “Anything is possible... just work your butt off, keep your nose to the grindstone, it’s great to have people block for you... but anything is possible.”
Ng said that baseball decisions with the Marlins are going to be made in a collaborative manner.
Ng said her time with the league office will be helpful. It showed her how different organizations operate.
She said that it’s important to know the prospects that she has and to know the minor league system.
She said it’s important to evaluate those players objectively. That will allow a team to know which ones to keep and which ones can be traded.
She said that Joe Torre has been a pillar of her career because she worked with him at three different stops. She said Torre has a great way of giving information.