Kim Ng has been named the first female general manager in major North American sports.
The Miami Marlins Major League Baseball (MLB) team announced the breakthrough appointment on Friday, with Ng smashing the glass ceiling after a successful career in baseball.
Richard Lapchick, an expert on race and gender in sports at the University of Central Florida, “I think this is the most noteworthy day for baseball since Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in 1947.” Robinson, as the first black player in MLB, is a legend whose name is known widely outside sports circles.
Ng won three World Series rings while spending 21 years with the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.
For the last nine years she has been a senior vice president.
“I entered Major League Baseball as an intern and, after decades of determination, it is the honour of my career to lead the Miami Marlins as their next general manager," Ng said in a statement.
"This challenge is one I don't take lightly. When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a Major League team, but I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals.
"My goal is now to bring championship baseball to Miami. I am both humbled and eager to continue building the winning culture our fans expect and deserve."
Ng's landmark appointment makes her the first woman ever to be made general manager of a Major League Baseball franchise, or of any major US sports team. That includes American football, baseball, ice hockey and baseball.
Marlins chief executive Derek Jeter said Ng's appointment would bring "a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience" to the franchise.
"Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path towards sustained success," Jeter said.
"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."
Ng takes over the Marlins role from Michael Hill, who was released after the 2020 season.
The Marlins reached baseball's playoffs this season for the first time since 2003, a feat that earned Don Mattingly National League Manager of the Year honours earlier this week.