Photograph by Dan Dry
Ng, AB’90, has hit one out of the ballpark. Not only
is 35-year-old Ng an executive with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who
were playoff-bound in late September, but she’s also on track
to become Major League Baseball’s first female general manager,
industry insiders predict. Just as the Dodgers defied expectations
to lead the National League West, she has bucked baseball’s
Growing up in New York and New Jersey, Ng would
spend hours playing pickup. At age 11 she tried organized softball
and got hooked. Later at the University, where she met husband Tony
Markward, AB’90, the public-policy major joined the women’s
After graduation Ng went from Chicago White Sox
intern to New York Yankees assistant general manager—one of
three women ever to hold the position—in less than a decade.
With three World Series rings in hand, she headed west.
Now the Dodgers’ vice president and assistant
general manager, Ng has her eye on the prize: another championship.
“I like our prospects a lot,” she said in August. “The
guys are raring to go.” By all accounts, so is she.
Arc of a career decision: In high school I played
tennis and softball. At Chicago I only wanted to play one sport.
I wanted to focus on my studies and get my feet wet [academically].
And I was a better softball player. ... My senior year I wondered
if there were opportunities in sports, if you could make a career
in sports. I didn’t know anyone except coaches.
From pinch to designated
hitter: My internship with the Chicago White Sox turned into
full time, and my responsibilities increased. When I started I was
operating the radar gun and inputting scout reports. As I moved
up I learned major-league rules, worked with our payroll, analyzed
reports we got from the video system that charts games, and started
negotiating contracts. I became a larger contributor.
On duty with the
Dodgers: Today I have a double role. As assistant general
manager you oversee player development, professional scouting, trying
to get talent into your organization. You’re involved in trades,
negotiating contracts with free agents and roster players. You’re
in charge of payroll, video operations, medical staff, amateur staff.
You basically oversee the operations of baseball. As farm director
you’re in charge of a lot of the day-to-day movements within
the minor leagues.
Highs and lows of
the game: I love building something, seeing what has worked,
what hasn’t. I love winning. Winning is big to me. I’m
a little competitive. ... I like the complexity of the sport. There
are certain situations within a game that set up other situations.
You have to have an intimate knowledge of the game to appreciate
One of the hardest things is the turnover in
the industry. This past weekend we acquired really good players,
but we also traded away really good players. You get emotionally
attached. It’s difficult to make these decisions. That’s
the way of the business these days. And keeping up with the information
flow is also difficult. It’s an endless task.
Life in the ballclub:
We have professional relationships [with the players]. You
go through ups and downs of a season with them. They understand
what your job is. You spend so much time on the road, you develop
a mutual respect.
It’s how you
play: A lot of people face challenges with whatever occupation
they have. I know I am one of the only women in this business. The
dream thing is winning another World Series. If I keep my nose to
the grindstone and I’m successful, hopefully at some point
people will recognize me.