Kim Ng, the first woman tapped to run a major men’s sports club in North America, is more than ready to begin her new job as general manager of the Miami Marlins, a Major League Baseball team that spring trains at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter. PBI recently caught up with Ng to discuss the road that led her here.
PBI: Did you grow up loving sports?
Ng: Always. I was the kid who was perpetually dirty with scabs on my knees from either playing some kind of sport or having some type of competition (with others or myself). Even if there was no one around, I would throw a ball against the stoop or play handball against the chimney—trying to perfect my shots—I was that kid. Even as an adult, it’s hard for me to walk into a room that has a ball and not pick it up and start playing with it.
You have 30 years’ experience as a baseball executive and have previously worked in the MLB central office. How did that time help you to better understand how teams operate?
When clubs call the central office, they are generally seeking help. Through those conversations and observing their decision-making process, I was able to gain a broad understanding of some of their inner workings and how the club/personnel think and operate, which served as a great learning opportunity.
What gave you the confidence to keep looking for a GM job after not landing any over the years?
I’m not sure it was about confidence as much as it was about persistence. The only thing I did know was that I wouldn’t get the job if I didn’t try. Ultimately, what choice do you have except to forge ahead?