Eri Yoshida, a 16 year old, will play for the Kobe 9 Cruise, in the Kansai Independent League. This is the U.S. equivalent of being on a farm team for the majors. No matter. It is pro ball, she'll get paid, and she's made history.
"I'm really happy I stuck with baseball," Yoshida said in a news conference after she was chosen with 32 other players in the new league's draft. "I want to pitch against men."
Yoshida throws a mean knuckleball, one of the hardest pitches to hit. She started playing baseball in second grade, played on a high school team, and has continued to work on her game.
Yoshida's accomplishment may signal a rise in the number sof young Japanese girls into the sport of baseball. Congratulations, Eri!