Readers of DirtDog Baseball will probably remember the name Eri Yoshida, a young Japanese woman and the first female player drafted by a pro baseball team [Kobe Cruise 9] in Japan two years ago at age 16. Eri’s specialty is the knuckleball, which she learned in part from viewing video of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and throws sidearm to great effect.
Now all of 18 years old, Eri is currently playing in the 2010 Arizona Winter League for the Yuma Scorpions (GBL) at the AA level. This makes her the first Japanese woman to play professional baseball in a men’s league in the United States. Eri earned her first win on Feb. 12 with four shutout innings of butterfly baseball.
Check out the video below from a television feature in Japan which shows a great view of Eri’s knuckleball in flight and the grip she uses. Girls CAN play baseball!