Eri Yoshida headed to Japan pro league
HIGH SCHOOL PITCHER BECOMES FIRST FEMALE PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER IN JAPAN
A 16-year-old schoolgirl with a mean knuckleball has been selected in a draft for the new Kansai Independent Baseball League, making her the first woman ever to play together with 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.
With a side-armed knuckleball in her arsenal, Yoshida took part in a tryout held earlier this month and passed with flying colors.
“I wanted to shine in baseball and aimed to become a professional player,” said a Yoshida. “My mind has gone blank but I’m happy.” Erin says she wants to follow in the footsteps of the great Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield.
The right-hander held male batters hitless for one inning in the final tryout and her successful outing helped her become one of the 33 players picked in the draft.
Yoshida, who attends Kanagawa Prefectural Kawasaki Kita High School, has showed interest in joining the team, and is set to begin negotiations over her schooling environment and other issues.