Japan Signs First Female Professional Baseball Player

10 years ago

I was so excited the other day when I heard that Japan had signed its first professional female baseball player. Eri Yoshida signed with Kobe 9 Cruise. Kobe 9 Cruise is part of the new Japanese Baseball League.

Wait, it gets better. Eri is a pitcher. Eri is a pitcher with a mean knuckleball. Most Major League Baseball pitchers haven't mastered the knuckleball.

Wait, it gets even better.  Eri Yoshida is still in high school. She is sixteen years old.

Lucy from Scrittore Creativo thinks that Eri Yoshida Rocks:

It's no secret that professional sports is a man's world. While I
usually get a little angry when women are excluded from things, when it
comes to sports I feel a little differently. Sure, it would be awesome
if women could play on the same teams as men, but honestly, I wouldn't
enjoy getting jacked by someone like Troy Polamalu. Women have physical
limitations that men don't that make it impossible for us to do some
things. I get it...

Yoshida, a 16 year-old high school girl has been signed by the Kobe 9
Cruise. Some people are saying it's a publicity stunt, because, you
know, females can't do anything that men can do. She's a knuckleball
pitcher, and knuckleballing is more about feel than power. It's the
technique, and I'm sure she has it.

I bet she has it too. Baseball teams don't draft people because they say they have knuckleballs. Especially sixteen year olds.

Did I mention that she learned how to throw this difficult pitch by watching Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield? On video?

(aside: I wonder if she is like that girl Monica from Heroes who could learn anything she saw on television. I wonder whatever happened to that character?)

I guess the logical question for an American woman is If baseball is the national pass time, when are we going to have a gender integrated baseball league here?

Miss Gray writes:

This is amazing. It took decades for African Americans to be allowed to
play alongside whites, and finally the league became de-segregated. I
hope that the MLB will soon recognize that there are female players who
may be better, or at least the same as their male counterparts. When I
was a kid, I always dreamed of playing baseball professionally, but
high school softball was the farthest I bothered to go. I wish Eri
Yoshida much luck, as i'm sure she is most definately going to need it!!

Jacqui is insiped for herself and for her daughter:

she's a knuckleballer, which is so cool.

first, I want her to continue to hold male hitters hitless, like she
did in her one inning tryout. And then I want a picture book for [her daughter] to read. I want a simple biography. I want schlock. I want
something for little girls to look at and think, "Darn you for trying
to tell me I can't!"


Wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't it be amazing for our daughters to grow up knowing that they can play Major League Baseball when they grow up? They could play in the NBA or the NHL or the NFL... or they could be president.


Contributing Editor Sarah also blogs at Sarah and the Goon Squad and Draft Day Suit.


More on Eri Yoshida:

Shakesville: Playing with the Boys.

Sharlene Hardin's Blog Spot

Girls Dig Sports

Right Fielders




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