The Japanese professional team KOBE 9 CRUISE signed this week a 16-year-old girl from High School. The club from an independent league starts its inaugural season next April. Eri Yoshida (see her pitch in the video clip) is Japan’s first ever female professional baseball player. She throws a sidearm knuckleball, inspired by fellow knuckleballer Tim Wakefield from the BOSTON RED SOX. Yoshida hopes to challenge the top players in the Japanese Central and Pacific Leagues someday in the future.
In American Baseball history a few women tried their luck against men, though limited to minor and independent leagues. The most famous was probably Jackie Mitchell. At the age of 17 she played for the double A team in Chattanooga and faced Yankees legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig 1931 in an exhibition game. She struck out both in succession on seven pitches.