Hey baseball fans!
The Miami Marlins have made history, a sentence that isn't so common, but when it's uttered, is monumental. Two days ago, they hired Kim Ng to be their new general manager, making her the first woman and East Asian to hold that position in Major League Baseball. But what does this hiring mean for all sports, and more importantly, what does it mean for us as fans?
I've been thinking a lot about why I follow baseball, beyond the enjoyment I get out of it, and have come to the conclusion that baseball isn't just a game. If any professional sport was just a game, then how can it be professional when games, by definition, are recreational? I know that not all sports players participate in athletics for monetary gains, but the figureheads of the world of sports certainly do. With this being the case, how come we are so driven to watch these games, to follow these players, and to root incessantly for outcomes that benefit one side over the other? Subconsciously, I think it has to do with the life lessons we garner from sports. I say that these lessons are subconscious because when I argue about Hall of Fame legitimacy, I don't judge players based on the lessons they taught me, but this very judgement teaches me how to argue and how to believe in those arguments. And when I played baseball in high school, learning to take pitches outside the strike zone taught me patience, while crafting pick-off plays and practicing run-down helped me understand how to plan methodically.
Then, there are the times when lessons are a little more on the surface, like integration and treating everyone equally. Baseball was the first sport to break the color barrier, the biggest sport in the US when the biggest immigration waves came to Ellis Island, and is the sport that is the most shaped by American history, so it's fair to say that baseball is a sport of resiliency. It's not a sport that's defined by the people trying to segregate it. It's a sport that's defined by perseverance and trail-blazing. So, when I see the Marlins hiring Kim Ng, not only do I see the emphasis of baseball's metaphorical mission statement. I also see a woman of East Asian descent, who has been in the game for so long, finally getting the chance to show the world what she's made of.
It's no coincidence that Derek Jeter hired Ng. After all, Ng was an assistant general manager under Brian Cashman during the Yankees dynasty of the late '90s, a period that saw Jeter go from prodigy to superstar in the Yankees organization, not to mention the fact that Jeter was born to biracial parents just seven years after the landmark Supreme Court case, Loving vs. Virginia. But what I love the most about this hiring is that this wasn't the Marlins trying to prove that they're "up with the times" or even that they are "the most woke team ever." Kim Ng is getting her shot because she deserves it, not because the Marlins are trying to meet a quota. After all, the Marlins are a baseball team trying to win ballgames, so they just needed to hire the best general managing candidate on the market. It was as simple as that.
Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."