Over the past couple of years professional sports teams have seen a rise in female coaches, office personnel, and officiating crews.
The Miami Marlins have become the first professional sports team in America with the naming of Kim Ng (Ang) as their General Manager; making her the highest ranking female in Major League Baseball.
Ng has a 30 plus year career with Major League Baseball working in a variety of jobs including in the front office of the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers. She has also worked in the front offices for the American League and MLB.
Ng herself spoke on her new position saying, “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. 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.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke on the new hire saying, “all of us at Major League Baseball are thrilled for Kim and the opportunity she has earned with the Marlins. Kim’s appointment makes history in all of professional sports and sets a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball and softball. The hard work, leadership, and record of achievement throughout her long career in the National Pastime led to this outcome, and we wish Kim all the best as she begins her career with the Marlins.”
Miami Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter issued a statement saying, “on behalf of principal owner Bruce Sherman and our entire ownership group, we look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins. Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path toward sustained success. Additionally, her extensive work in expanding youth baseball and softball initiatives will enhance our efforts to grow the game among our local youth as we continue to make a positive impact on the South Florida community.”
A native New Yorker, Ng played sports as a child and was a fan of the Yankees despite living in Queens until she was 12 years old. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she began working with the MLB as an intern for the Chicago White Sox. She became a full time employee in the White Sox font office in 1991.
Ng is also the youngest person to present a salary arbitration case and the youngest assistant general manager when she was hired in 1998 by the Yankees at the age of 29 – one of four women to hold such a position.
While Kim Ng adds her name to the history books as the League’s first female GM, she is just one of several female trailblazers in baseball. Back during World War II while the men were overseas fighting, the women had “A League of Their Own” and earned money playing professional baseball.
Other female trailblazers in the MLB:
Lizzie Arlington who played on a men’s baseball team in 1898.
Lizzie Murphy who is also known as the Queen of Baseball and began playing pro baseball at 17.
Pitcher Jackie Mitchell who went on to strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a game after coming in from the bullpen.
Edith Houghton, Amanda Hopkins, and Bessie Largent (who worked with her husband) were the first female scouts.
Pitcher Mamie “Peanut” Johnson pitched in the Negro Leagues where she had a record of 33 and eight.
Toni Stone became the first regular position player in the Negro Leagues, replacing Hank Aaron.
Elaine Weddington Steward was the first assistant general manager in MLB.
Left hand pitcher Ila Borders began pitching with the boys in college and later moved to the pros in the Independent League.
Jean Afterman is an agent and executive who has represented Japanese players arbitrating to join the MLB in the United States.
Effa Manley is the first woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Famej. She and her husband owned the Newark Eagles in the Negro Leagues.
Knuckleball pitcher Eri Yoshida is the first woman to play professional baseball in Japan.
Not only is Mo’Ne Davis the first girl to pitch in the Little League World Series; she is also the first to throw a shutout in a World Series game.
Female softball player, Olympian, and EPSN broadcaster; Jessica Mendoza is the first woman to be a part of the broadcast crew for a nationally televised MLB game.
Justine Siegal is the first woman to throw batting practice and become a first base coach.
When she became a part of the group that took over baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox last year, Raquel Ferreira became the highest ranking woman in professional baseball operations.
A member of the Minnesota Twins since November 2019, Andrea Hayden is the first female strength and conditioning coach in MLB.
Rachel Balkovec and Rachel Folden are the first hitting coaches in the Major Leagues.
With the title of Major League assistant coach, Alyssa Nakken becomes the first female to be a full time coach on a Major League team – San Francisco Giants – and has spent some time on the field as a first base coach.