Saturday, April 17, 2010

A League of Her Own? Japanese Girl Brings Wicked Knuckleball to U.S. Pro Team

I've thought about it before. Somehow I end up on a major league team, we're up 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, and the manager calls on me to close the game. I'm, of course, not major league material, so what would I have to do to get the job done?

As it turns out, I can throw a bit of a knuckleball. Granted, it's not major league quality, but it'd be my only chance. Either that or throw my 65 m.p.h. fastball at the other team's best hitter's head in hopes that (after he easily steps out of its way) he'd be enraged, chase after me, and then after I sprinted back to the bullpen and safely locked myself inside, the umps would throw him out of the game.

So I guess it should come as no surprise that the first woman ever to be signed by a U.S. professional baseball team is a knuckleballer. Her name is Eri Yoshida, she's been playing in Japan and has now signed with the Chico Outlaws in California. Here's an excerpt from Nicolas Lewis' article on Technorati:
[Yoshida] has received some coaching from Tim Wakefield, and both he and her Chico bosses - former major-leaguers Garry Templeton and Mike Marshall - see something in her that gives them confidence, so at least for now, I will express the same.
We'll wait and see how Yoshida's pitching career progresses and whether she's able to climb the minor league ranks. Although, my guess is that right now she could mow down the Astros' lineup.

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