This is over a week old but I totally missed it. It’s ESPN’s E:60 story about the person who may be the best little league pitcher in the country:
She registered another perfect pitching record this year, 12-0, for her Little League team.
She threw her second perfect game — and predicted this one just hours before she did it.
fastball hits the mid-60s, and she can send opponents to the bench in
tears, embarrassing them with a knuckleball she learned from former
major league knuckleball legend Joe Niekro.
Meet Chelsea Baker, a girl pitcher in a boys’ league.
The story is OK, the video that accompanies it is just wonderful. Except for the revelation that opponents’ parents taunt her for pitching in “a boy’s game” which, as the father of a girl who can do any damn thing she wants to, makes me want to commit heinous murder. But that aside . . .
Baker is 5’4″ and 117 pounds, so (a) she likely has a size advantage over a lot of her later-blooming competition; and (b) she may be done growing, but if the radar gun is accurate and she’s really throwing 65, she could totally play at higher levels as a knuckleballer. All she’d probably need is a few more miles per hour for those get-me-over “fastballs” on days the knuckler isn’t fluttering, and that may be doable via training.
But even if that doesn’t pan out Baker’s is a great story.
(thanks to El Bonte for the heads up)
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.