Meet 17-year-old Chelsea Baker.
She’s been throwing knuckleballs since she was 10 and has been trained in the pitch by the legendary Joe Niekro. The old knuckleballer was her Little League coach.
Via the Tampa Bay Times:
She pitched 5 ½ years without a loss, pitched two no-hitters, grew so solid on the mound that she landed on ESPN’s E:60,Good Morning America and CNN. At the request of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, she sent her jersey for an exhibit called “Diamond Dreams: Women in Baseball.” The press started calling her the Knuckleball Princess.
Baker met Joe Maddon at an event last week. He invited her to throw to the Rays. She accepted. This is what happened last night in Tampa.
[GIFs via Cut Four]