Kim Ng: The Reluctant Trailblazer
I went to a wonderful event today for “Kids In Sports”. The goal of this great organization is to create community led after school sports programs for children and youth in underserved areas of Los Angeles County. In 1996, KIS initiated the Girls In Recreation, Leadership and Sports (GIRLS) Program to recruit and attract young girls to the sports clubs.
At the luncheon, Kim Ng was honored for her excellence in raising awareness for women in sports. For those of my blog readers that may not be Dodgers fans and don’t know, Kim Ng was the youngest person to present a salary arbitration case in the major leagues at age 26. She has three World Series rings from when she was the Yankees assistant GM. She is the first woman to interview for a general manager’s position in Major League Baseball history. Recently, she was picked as one of the most influential people in the game by Baseball America. AND Kim Ng is the Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
I have always been an admirer of Ms. Ng. I would imagine that she doesn’t want to be known as a trailblazer. Like any woman who has achieved absolute greatness, she wants to be recognized for her brain and talent, not her gender. But, my God, what an amazing role model she is for women everywhere.
When she accepted the award, she spoke of growing up and what sports meant to her and her sisters (she is the oldest of 5). With humility, she told the crowd how sports gave her self-esteem during those pivotal years of teen development, and taught her of teamwork and commitment. Playing sports as a young girl, gave her the foundation to grow into the smart, successful, business, woman she is today.
The words Kim shared are actually statistically proven. Girls who play sports have higher levels of self-esteem. They have a more positive body image. They have the experience of success, learn of the hard work to achieve goals and how to deal with failure.
Kim Ng is a great spokesperson for the game of baseball and inspired me today.
After Kim accepted her award, she graciously took a picture with me. In that fleeting moment, I thought about asking her what the Dodgers were going to do with the bullpen or if she had any plans to get another set up guy or a starter (that could maybe go more than four innings, maybe? Please?). But somehow, in that moment, baseball didn’t seem relevant. I wasn’t there as a fan of the Dodgers. I was there as a fan of Kim Ng.