April 05, 2009
Eri Yoshida

Meet the first woman to play professional baseball in Japan.

Eri Yoshida, a 17-year-old who throws a sidearm knuckleball, took the mound in the ninth inning of Kobe 9 Cruise's 5-0 win over the Osaka Gold Villicanes in the newly-formed Kansai Independent League.

She walked the first batter leading off the inning on four pitches and allowed a stolen base before striking out the next batter swinging at Osaka Dome. She was then replaced after facing just two batters.

The 5-feet, 114-pound Yoshida is hoping to stick with the Kobe team. Friday's performance was far from conclusive but at least she has the first strikeout of her career.

I don't think I've ever heard of someone throwing a sidearm knuckleball before. David Pinto, from whom I got the link, has some video there so you can see what that looks like for yourself. Good luck, Eri Yoshida.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 05, 2009 to Baseball
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