Eri Yoshida was inspired to learn how to throw the knuckler after seeing a video of Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield.Much like America, where baseball is the "national pastime" but only half the population plays the game professionally, Japan does not have a professional women's baseball league. So maybe we can all learn something from Eri Yoshida. Like how women weren't really only capable of playing professional baseball from the years 1943 to 1954. Just a thought.
…Yoshida said she wants to emulate Wakefield, who has built a successful major league career throwing a knuckleball, which is difficult to learn and even harder to throw with success.
"It's funny that I've reached that point in my career that people want to emulate me," Wakefield said. "I'm glad I had people like the Niekros, Charlie Hough and Tom Candiotti that I could look up to. I am deeply humbled that it is me this time."
…"Hope I can see her pitch one day," Wakefield said in a message he texted to the Red Sox that was relayed to The Associated Press. "I'm honored that someone wants to become me. I wish her the best of luck. Maybe I can learn something from her."
Yoshida started playing baseball when she was in the second grade, tagging along with her elder brother, now 19, and played first base on a boy's team in junior high school. She also joined her high school baseball club, but quit because the training was too tough. Then she joined a private club.
…"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.