View Full Version : Schoolgirl knuckleballer headed to Japan pro league

11-18-2008, 11:46 AM
TOKYO (AFP) A 16-year-old schoolgirl with a mean knuckleball has been selected as the first woman ever to play alongside the men in Japanese professional baseball.

Eri Yoshida was drafted for a new independent league that will launch in April, drawing attention for a side-armed knuckler that her future manager Yoshihiro Nakata said was a marvel.

"I never dreamed of getting drafted," Yoshida told reporters Monday, a day after she was selected to play for the Kobe 9 Cruise.

"I have only just been picked by the team and have not achieved anything," she said. "I want to play as a pro eventually in a higher league."

Yoshida, 155 centimetres (five feet) tall and weighing 52 kilograms (114 pounds), says she wants to follow in the footsteps of the great Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

A female professional baseball federation existed for a few years in the 1950s, but Yoshida will become Japan's first-ever woman to play alongside professional male players.


11-18-2008, 12:25 PM
I hope she does well... better than Annika Sorenstam did in the PGA.

I also think with her knuckle ball she will be very effective if it is as mean as it is supposed to be.

11-18-2008, 02:56 PM
Very interesting. Clearly that is the only role that a woman could physically play on a professional baseball team, with less strength required for a knukleball. But could a one-pitch pitcher really be successful in a pro league, even if that one pitch is so effective? Even Wakefield has a couple other decent pitches to keep batters honest.

11-18-2008, 04:43 PM
Other pitches: 40 MPH fastball, 30 MPH change-up, underhanded sinker

11-18-2008, 04:44 PM
BTW, if she is even remotely good, the Reds should pick her up just for the publicity!

11-18-2008, 05:08 PM
I heard in a Phil Niekro interview once that the knuckleball is ineffective against major league players unless you can throw it over 60mph. And for anyone that has tried to throw it its hard to get it dancing and over 60mph. Can someone of her stature do this? Not saying she cant but its seems unlikely.

11-18-2008, 05:19 PM
She'll get smoked. It will be hilarious to watch her reaction when the first hard line drive comes right at her.

11-20-2008, 06:03 PM
There has to be a youtube video of this girl?

11-21-2008, 12:02 AM
Other pitches: 40 MPH fastball, 30 MPH change-up, underhanded sinker

Sounds like the Rangers Opening Day Starter in 2010.