They are historic days. On January 20th, Kamala Harris will be the first woman, a “Woman of Color” at that, to be sworn in as Vice President of the United States of America. Not quite as important, but also groundbreaking: The Miami Marlins baseball club introduces Kim Ng for the post of general manager. The 51-year-old will be the first woman to lead the sporting fortunes of a team in one of the four major North American professional leagues.
Gender boundary broken
The “gender line has been broken,” headlined the New York Times. The commentator for the television channel ESPN, who has employed softball Olympic champion Jessica Mendoza as an expert on games in the MLB professional baseball league since 2016, stated: “It was about time”, after all, everyone who had anything in their minds had long known that Ng (spoken: Äng) have all qualifications for this job. The native American is also the first general manager of Asian descent in the MLB.
The tasks of a “GM” are comparable to those of a sports director in football. Among other things, Ng will be responsible for the selection of the manager, as the head coach in baseball is called, and the composition of the squad. She has long known how to do this: from 1990 to 1996 she worked for the Chicago White Sox, initially as an intern. She was already employed as Assistant General Manager at the record champions New York Yankees from 1998 to 2001 and from 2002 to 2011 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Most recently, Ng was in the service of the league, as Senior Vice President she oversaw the game operations. Among others, Ned Colletti, once GM and thus her direct supervisor at the Dodgers, congratulated her on her new job: “This is not only a historic, but also a grandiose choice.” Deputy hired because he assured her that she was smarter than himself.
Persistently pursuing goals
For a long time, former professionals were appointed to the post of GM in the MLB, and it was only in recent years that the realization that a good GM need not have been a good player, if at all a player. Ng’s boss at the Marlins is Derek Jeter. He became a co-owner and first African-American CEO of an MLB club in 2017. But he’s also a living legend and icon of the Yankees, for whom he played for 20 years. He became a master five times and Ng was assistant general manager three times. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in winning titles with her,” Jeter said. Ng confessed she wasn’t sure that day would ever come: When she got into baseball 30 years ago, “it seemed unlikely that a woman would ever lead a Major League team.” But she was “persistent in pursuing my goals.” Her next goal: “To get a championship title to Miami.” It would be the third after 1997 and 2003. SID/nd