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2021 Trailblazer of the Year: Kim Ng (Miami Marlins)

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For more than a decade, Justine Siegal has worked to help grow the opportunities for women in baseball. She worked as a coach in independent ball and in an instructional league stint with the Athletics. She has spent years helping Baseball for All develop opportunities for girls and women to participate in baseball.

For years, many of the goals of Baseball for All were aspirational. Now, when the organization talks with young girls who love baseball, Kim Ng is an example of what they can be.

“All of that role modeling, all of that belief that it is possible just wasn’t there five years ago,” Siegal said.

That’s what Ng, who was hired as Marlins general manager in November 2020, has done for a couple of generations of women who either work in baseball or want to work in baseball. She’s turned something that seemed like an impossibility into a reality.

For that, Ng is Baseball America’s 2021 Trailblazer of the Year.In a career that dates back to 1990, Ng has worked in baseball operations for the White Sox, in the American League office, as an assistant GM for both the Yankees and Dodgers and, for 10 years prior to joining the Marlins, as senior vice president of baseball operations for MLB.

“For the 12-year-old girl, if you can see it, you can be it,” said Ashley Brachter, USA Baseball’s general manager of the 18U program. “We’re still working with that as far as the on-field component. But the more we can show you belong in baseball in a front office, like Kim, or being an umpire or a scout or female coaches, it goes back to the aspirational component.”

“When I was in college, I wanted to be a hitting coach. I wanted to be part of a team. I guess now with Kim being the GM, I can dream bigger. I have bigger goals for myself,” said Luisa Gauci, a college baseball player who also works at Driveline Baseball as baseball technologies coordinator.

“She really opened the door to me. Now I want to be an MLB hitting assistant or coordinator, rather than just wanting to be in a minor league system. Now I want to dream bigger. She made that path. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s cool that my parents can see that, too.”

“There’s never been a better time for a woman to seek a baseball ops-type job in MLB,” Siegal said. “Baseball’s catching up. They are doing some sprinting . . . (Women) always deserved the opportunity, and they now actually have it.”

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