Home News Marlins GM Kim Ng returns to where her career began

Marlins GM Kim Ng returns to where her career began

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This story was excerpted from Christina De Nicola’s Marlins Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

This weekend marked Kim Ng’s return to the South Side of Chicago for the first time since becoming the first female general manager for a major North American professional men’s sports team.

More than three decades ago, Ng’s path began as an intern for the White Sox in 1990 after graduating from the University of Chicago. The hard-working Ng quickly earned a full-time job as an analyst, utilizing her economics background and knowledge of statistics, linear algebra and calculus. Within four years, she was named assistant director of baseball operations. Ng remained with the organization until ’96, then she joined the American League office.

“It was great that this was my first stop, because it really just set the tone for knowing what right looks like, and [manager Skip Schumaker] talks about that,” Ng said. “Talks about what winning looks like, what it means to treat people the right way, and what it means to build camaraderie when you’re at work, but also out of work.”

Ng spent much of Friday catching up with familiar faces, such as senior director of ticket operations Mike Mazza, executive assistant to the senior VP/GM Nancy Nesnidal and head groundskeeper Roger Bossard, all of whom have been with the White Sox for 30-plus years. Ng reminisced about the employee golf outing held each summer and how interns would perform a skit.

After the game, Ng stopped by the Bertucci Boys’ patio area in right field, where she enjoyed the offering of fried chicken, macaroni and potato salad. She used to put on her hard hat and grab free lunch there on a daily basis with colleagues during the first year of the ballpark.

“It was really the family atmosphere that we had in the front office,” Ng said, “and I think it’s a testament to [chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf, who’s kept a lot of these people in place for 35 years. It’s just so funny because obviously you’re going back quite a ways in time, but this is really where I learned a lot of things: How to be a professional, what was the right way to go about things, and this is really where I began to develop as an executive.

“Jerry and his leadership group did create that family atmosphere, and so you didn’t mind being here at the ballpark 80-90 hours a week. The loyalty and the consistency, the familiarity, I think the idea that we’re all just pulling for the same things, items that have really carried through in my career. I think they have for me been a guiding light in terms of how you try and get people together and on the same page.”

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