Kim Ng ready to bear the torch as baseball's 1st female GM

FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2007 file photo,  Los Angeles Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng walks through the hotel lobby during the first day of Major League Baseball annual general managers meetings in Orlando, Fla.   Ng has become the highest-ranking woman in baseball operations in the major leagues. She was hired Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, as general manager of the Miami Marlins.  (AP Photo/John Raoux, file)
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2007 file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng walks through the hotel lobby during the first day of Major League Baseball annual general managers meetings in Orlando, Fla. Ng has become the highest-ranking woman in baseball operations in the major leagues. She was hired Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, as general manager of the Miami Marlins. (AP Photo/John Raoux, file) (AP2007)

MIAMI – The Miami Marlins' new general manager sat at home plate in the team's ballpark Monday, reflecting on all the times she struck out.

As baseball's first female GM, Kim Ng can bask in a breakthrough achievement that's all the more admirable because she was turned down for a similar job by at least five other teams over the past 15 years.

During an hour-long introductory virtual news conference, Ng confessed she had doubted whether the moment would ever come for her.

“Look, it’s a tribute to the idea that you just have to keep plowing through,” she said. “That’s what this is. It's like what we tell the players — you can mope and sulk for a few days, but that’s it. You’ve got to come back, and that’s what I've been able to do. I've been defeated and deflated numerous times, but you keep hoping.”

And now, Ng (pronounced Ang) has earned a win for women everywhere. She is believed to be the first female general manager in the four major North American professional sports leagues, and she's also being saluted as a pioneering Asian American, even overseas.

“Apparently I have a small little fan club in China,” she said.

Ng celebrated her achievement with her four sisters and her mother, who was born in China and came to the United States at age 5. Other ceiling-busting women offered congratulations, from Michelle Obama to Billie Jean King.

Ng said at least 500 people have told her they're now Marlins fans. She's especially heartened to set an example for young girls who might aspire to a career in sports management.