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Kim Ng breaks a gender barrier in baseball

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has some advice for how the Biden administration can work with state leaders, three Korean-American women are headed to Congress, and Kim Ng makes history in Major League Baseball. Have a powerful Monday.

– Home run ⚾. If you’re not a baseball fan, you may have missed a milestone piece of news on Friday: the Miami Marlins named Kim Ng their new general manager, making her the first female GM in the Major League Baseball.

By all accounts, it’s an appointment that has been a long time coming. Ng, who began her career in the sport as a Chicago White Sox intern 30 years ago, is the league’s longtime SVP of baseball operations and has three World Series titles and eight playoffs under her belt as an associate GM. She first interviewed for a GM job 15 years ago and has reportedly been a candidate a total of five in the years since. In the words of one ESPN headline, “Kim Ng finally—finally!—lands general manager job in Major League Baseball.”

Ng’s colleagues in the sport are all aware of the history-making nature of her appointment—and how it can change baseball for the better. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged that the Marlins news “sets a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball and softball.” Other women in baseball told how Ng’s career could affect their own trajectories. “It changes the conversation from, ‘Oh it’s never been done,’ to, ‘Oh, well, Kim’s doing it so you can do it,’” said Rachel Balkovec, the Yankees Minor League hitting coach who was the first woman hired into that role last year.

But one common refrain among those who know Ng is how supremely qualified she is for this job—making her appointment both unprecedented and expected. “We’re not transplanting a kidney here,” said Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman. “You knew that you were looking at a GM. … There’s nothing she doesn’t know about baseball.”

Notably, this isn’t a milestone just for baseball. Ng is the first female GM in any of the four major North American men’s athletic leagues. She’s also the second Asian GM in the MLB. And the Marlins CEO who chose her for the position, by the way, is Derek Jeter. (I’m a Red Sox fan myself, but I have to give credit where credit is due to the former Yankee on this one!)

“When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a Major League team,” Ng said in her own statement, “but I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals.”

Emma Hinchliffe

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