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Chelsea Baker can strike your son out

Jul 28, 2010, 1:29 PM EST

This is over a week old but I totally missed it. It’s ESPN’s E:60 story about the person who may be the best little league pitcher in the country:

She registered another perfect pitching record this year, 12-0, for her Little League team.

She threw her second perfect game — and predicted this one just hours before she did it.

Her
fastball hits the mid-60s, and she can send opponents to the bench in
tears, embarrassing them with a knuckleball she learned from former
major league knuckleball legend Joe Niekro.

Meet Chelsea Baker, a girl pitcher in a boys’ league.

The story is OK, the video that accompanies it is just wonderful. Except for the revelation that opponents’ parents taunt her for pitching in “a boy’s game” which, as the father of a girl who can do any damn thing she wants to, makes me want to commit heinous murder. But that aside . . .

Baker is 5’4″ and 117 pounds, so (a) she likely has a size advantage over a lot of her later-blooming competition; and (b) she may be done growing, but if the radar gun is accurate and she’s really throwing 65, she could totally play at higher levels as a knuckleballer.  All she’d probably need is a few more miles per hour for those get-me-over “fastballs” on days the knuckler isn’t fluttering, and that may be doable via training.

But even if that doesn’t pan out Baker’s is a great story.

(thanks to El Bonte for the heads up)

  1. BC - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    I don’t think Tim Wakefield ever threw a pitch more than 70, and his knuckleball is 60-65. Could be do-able and would be fun to watch.

  2. Kevin R - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    She’s got the right attitude though: “I think they say stuff like that because they are jealous,” she said.

  3. Jammy - Jul 28, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    too bad about her height and size, its nearly impossible to compete at a high level with that size. shortest player in the majors is like 5″6 I think… and thats pretty rare.
    regardless, this is a great story. good luck chelsea!

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