E:60


#1

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5395642

I remember we had a young lady post…
Pustulio old boy…you and Zita get the dedication on this one…I saw this girls teacher pitch…his brother too…Great piece


#2

jd, I think you’d be very interested in a recent book by Jennifer Ring, a fellow member of SABR. Its title is “Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball”, and in this book the author examines all the “reasons” for steering very talented and capable girls who play baseball in the direction of softball, or worse yet—away from sports altogether. And she rips these excuses, for that is what they are, to shreds. The fact is, plain and simple, that most men don’t want girls playing baseball because they are afraid the girls will beat them at what they have long considered their own game. I have read the book, and I am absolutely astounded at the pile of bullcrap exposed in those wonderful, readable pages.
You’ve probably read about Eri Yoshida, the Japanese teenager who throws a sidearm knuckleball and is pitching for a professional team in a California independent league. There’s also a high-school girl who’s a star relief pitcher on her team in a Southern California league, and she makes opposing batters look sick with the stuff she throws. And now we have Chelsea Baker. Yes, these girls can indeed play baseball, and they have resisted all efforts to steer them away from the game they love. It reminds me of my own playing days, decades ago—how I hooked up with what amounted to a semipro team in New York City, and how nobody batted an eyelash because I was getting the batters out with the stuff I had.
Yes, something’s coming—something good. I for one want to see more of this. I’m also reminded of something I read in a biography of the composer Franz Schubert; he had a circle of friends and fellow musicians, and when a newcomer was interested in becoming part of it Schubert had only one thing to say: “Kann er 'was?” (translated: “Does he know something?”) That was all he was interested in about his fellow humans: did they know their jobs? And maybe one day we will see a female or two in the major leagues…
Thanks again, jd, for making my day. :slight_smile:


#3

Just wanted to pipe in and say this real quick Zita, that Japanese pitcher you referred to, one of my friends played on her team in the arizona camp she went to this year!


#4

Yeah, I definitely don’t think the reason girls are steered away from baseball is because guys are worried about getting beat by them…


#5

Just goes to show throwing like a girl isn’t always a bad thing, in the case of Eri Yoshida or Annabelle Lee from the olf AAGPBL I wouldn’t mind throwing like a girl. lol

The great thing about the knuckler, doesn’t take a certain physical makeup it just takes hard work and the mind of a zen buddhist.

I had already read up on Chelsea Baker before the E:60 story, she can swing the bat too, in fact if I remember correctly she hit over .600


#6

A friend and I coached a Little League team for a couple seasons and we had a girl on the team. She was a little spitfire - always hustled, speed on the bases, and could throw the ball. Even pitched on occasion. We tried our best to not make anything out of it but to treat her the same as the other players.

It’s a shame the young lady in the video has to deal with the unnecessary commotion but, in the long run, it will teach her some life lessons. More power to her.


#7

I had both the Niekros Topps cards in my jeans pockets during the summers I biked around the neighborhood getting players for pick up games at the ballfield. Especially, Joe the knuckler. And I had a special pile of cards of players that were born in towns close to where I lived. On the back of the card it told where they were from. The Niekros were just across the West Virginia panhandle into Ohio from my house. We all messed around with the knuckleball because of Joe.

Chelsea Baker has received a wonderful gift and it’s not just her talent.

My father was friends with a Major Leaguer. When he was around, baseball took on a new higher meaning. I could look up at him and say, “Ok this guy came from this town and he worked hard and got the the Major Leagues. If he can do it…I can give it a try.” When he was around, we all played better. When his son was on the team, we were invincible. I played a tournament game under the lights on a grass field for the first time as a Little Leaguer, back when lighted fields were few and far between. I drive by that place every once in awhile and I get the same feeling I had forty years ago when it happened. It was because we just played better when he was around. Royalty was in our presence, yet he was also average Joe.

Chelsea Baker has not only been inspired by Joe Niekro; Chelsea has a significant part of Joe in her soul. When she pitches, she will be Joe Niekro. When you shake the hand of an immortal, something transfers, it is memorable. When you kiss an immortal on the cheek…you have crossed a barrier precious few have dared attempt. Chelsea has a bright future not only in baseball but in life. It is always amazing to me how one person can leave such a legacy. Nice story …JD


#8

There is yet another one. Her name is Marti Sementelli, she’s a 17-year-old relief pitcher for her high school team (the Birmingham-at-Lake-Balboa HS in the west San Fernando Valley in L.A.), and this was brought to my attention by a friend, a Local 47 Musicians Union official who used to play for the Chicago Cubs. He sent me a couple of articles from the sports pages of the L.A. Daily News, telling me that it reminded him of me in my playing days. It certainly reminded me of myself. This girl has a very good arsenal of pitches—including a knuckleball—and according to the article, the opposing batters come to the plate drooling and licking their chops and go back to the dugout foaming at the mouth, which makes me think of what Ed Lopat used to do to the Cleveland Indians. Ms. Sementelli, whose father was her only coach, is planning on pitching in college—and who knows where she’ll go from there? :slight_smile:


#9

I’d love to take her over the fence one day. She’s not even close to being the best little leaguer in the country.

Cameron Franklin, a shortstop and pitcher who played in my league last year (he’s now in pony) threw the ball 77 mph last year. He has a nasty slider, and he can hit too.

At age 12, he hit a home run around 300 feet.

He’s so fast that he stole home from second on wild pitches before.

Chelsea Baker doesn’t come close to this guy.


#10

[quote=“kevinbert28”]I’d love to take her over the fence one day. She’s not even close to being the best little leaguer in the country.

Cameron Franklin, a shortstop and pitcher who played in my league last year (he’s now in pony) threw the ball 77 mph last year. He has a nasty slider, and he can hit too.

At age 12, he hit a home run around 300 feet.

He’s so fast that he stole home from second on wild pitches before.

Chelsea Baker doesn’t come close to this guy.[/quote]

You have A LOT to learn my friend. Just cuz that guy can throw 77 and has a slider doesn’t mean anything. Absolutely nothing, with the attrition rate of pitchers. In fact, because he throws so hard it is more likely that he gets hurt, especially if he is throwing a slider. Chelsea baker has the advantage of the knuckle ball, the knuck is the only thing that defies all logic, you don’t need velocity with it and you can throw it 100 percent of the time and have success. The knuck is a special pitch indeed.

Also, on the same subject, there was a guy from my town that threw 70 in Little Leage, you know what happened to him? Well, first off, he never got any better at all. Had he even CONTINUED to high school he would have been below average by the time he got to varsity. He has since dropped out of high school, got his girlfriend pregnant, and is stuck in this tiny town for the rest of his life. I don’t know this little leaguer that you refer to but it’s going to take a lot more down the line for him to amount to anything, same goes for chelsea baker matter of fact, but I’d put my money toward her making it farther honestly.


#11

I also knew a guy who could hit OVER 300 foot home runs in little league, he would hit the ball out of two parks that were next to each other. He is now an above average short stop for the high school team he plays for and I to my knowledge has never hit a home run in high school.


#12

lol no girls will ever be the best LL player in any country, ever.


#13

I’d love to take her over the fence one day.

On a date?

She’s not even close to being the best little leaguer in the country.

She throws a knuckleball 62 MPH. That has R.A. Dickey all over it.

lol no girls will ever be the best LL player in any country, ever.

I agree with you. Instead, a girl will be the best pro ball player.


#14

[quote=“Johnny Cello”]lol no girls will ever be the best LL player in any country, ever.

I agree with you. Instead, a girl will be the best pro ball player.[/quote]

Delusional!

It’s funny… did you even pay attention in the piece to the type of players she is playing against?!?

It is what it is… weak Little League play. Nothing more. Not trying to sound harsh but that’s the reality of it.

_


#15

Why not just wait and see what happens when Ms. Baker proceeds beyond Little League to the next level?


#16

Agree.

_


#17

Listen up, class… The story isn’t about the best Little Leaguer in the country. Now go read it again. :roll:


#18

Ain’t it funny… :lol: :lol:
That GIRL ain’t better than me… :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:
Sounds to me like somebodys worried bout somebody else :shock:
How bout all you macho wiennies out there worry about your game…and when you see in your high school travels, like I’ve seen it…that GIRL on a HS field has had to work harder and be more dedicated to even get the honor to step on the infield grass…Respect the effort wiennies or you will be one of those shaking your head and sitting down…
I’ve told the story but it is worth the repeat…my son on JV was playing this team from Menendez HS in St Augustine, he thrashed em was beating them down and was in the middle or actually the end of a string where he k’d 5 in the same inning (The poor cather quit and went to football after this season)…he was throwing his change off of his fb and was just making everyone look bad…but it was getting dirt and his backstop couldn’t drop and block for nothin…well after the 5th k, bases loaded 2 outs and guess who the coach went to the bench and pointed to??? It was a girl, Andy went 0-2 on her and I was certain we’d see a 6 k inning or better :? …He threw his very best hook on her next and she sent a laser to 2nd on a one-hopper to end the inning…He didn’t give in and you can bet if he had it would have been 3 unearned runs and a girl standing out on the infield with an extra-base hit…
My suggestion to you weinnies…respect the game…it don’t matter who is on the rubber or if the 2nd baseman has braids…particularly “above” LL, if it’s a girl…you had better expect they earned it and worry about what you bring or you’ll be embarressed by “A GIRL”.


#19

lol gender discrimination

While it’s been statistically proven that females have less muscle potential than males (top female weightlifter v. top male weightlifter, national and world averages, etc), that doesn’t stop them from being good ballplayers, what stops them is the “lolgotosoftball” mentality. I know a couple of girls who have went from baseball to softball because of the pressure. But really, there shouldn’t be any. While a girl might not reach Justin Verlander velocity, I wouldn’t doubt girls being able to throw in the 88-90 range, meaning they can potentially take the spot of Greg Maddux, Mark Buehrle, Barry Zito, Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey, etc, etc. And no matter what gender I am, I’d take that.


#20

Hi, pacman.
Have you read Jennifer Ring’s “Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball” yet? This writer—like me, a member of SABR—takes this whole set of misconceptions and mistaken ideas and rips it apart unmercifully. She talka about how scientists and medical personnel and others who should know better say that girls are not suited to play baseball because of bone structure and growth plates and they can’t do this and they can’t do that—and she rips that apart as well; these people have never heard of compensation and getting around structural differences…And, of course, there’s the “little” matter of those circles wherein the guys want to keep the game all to themselves, so it’s no longer a game for everybody. What’s the matter with them?
And there are other factors. For example, there was Ila Borders, a lefthanded pitcher who played in the minor leagues. She wasn’t a bad pitcher. But she got all kinds of flak and even death threats from—guess who? The women in the stands, the wives and girlfriends of the guys on the field. They saw her as a threat—what kind, I will never fathom in a million years—and they kept yelling at her to go home and play mama to her dolls and have tea parties for them and forget about this nonsense of playing baseball. And, unfortunately, they got to her—maybe the guys didn’t object, but their “better halves” sure did, and they drove her out of the game. And those stupids will not shut up.
I remember, many moons ago, when I played. Maybe I didn’t play pro ball, but I played on that level. I was the only girl on my team, which was a very good outfit that might have been called semipro if the players had gotten paid. Our manager was a former semipro infielder with good baseball savvy, and we played major league rules which pleased me very much. I was one of four pitchers in the rotation, and I started and won a whole bunch of games, and I rescued a whole bunch of them—maybe I didn’t have the speed of a Raschi or a Verlander or one of those other fireballers, but I made up for it with an extensive arsenal of “snake jazz” built around a slider which I called “Filthy McNasty” (after a character in a W.C. Fields movie) and a very good knuckle-curve, and the control and command to go with it. I also had an incredible pitching coach—an active major leaguer who was one of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation—and he once told me that it wouldn’t have mattered if I had been from another planet; he saw me as a good young pitcher who wanted to know more and be more effective on the mound, and he took the time to work with me and teach me some very advanced stuff he felt I should know. And the guys never batted an eyelash, because I was getting the opposition out with my stuff—but you should have heard the opposition! They growled and grumbled and cursed, but it did them no good.
I played for more than two decades and had fun doing it; unfortunately, I had to stop (I was in my mid-30s) when I lost my free weekends due to an increasing work schedule. But I played baseball, the real thing, and it was fun. I read about other females who have made it, or could make it, to the higher echelons in baseball—for example, Eri Yoshids the Japanese knuckleballer, and a 17-year-old high-schooler named Marti Sementelli who reminds me of myself—and I say, more power to all of you. :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher: