'Knuckleball Princess' Chelsea Baker throws BP for Tampa Bay Rays
A 17-year-old girl from Plant City, Florida is making sure that baseball fans around the world remember Joe Niekro for more than just the emery board incident. See, Chelsea Baker is a high school pitcher for the Durant High School baseball team. Under Niekro's tutelage, Baker began to master the art of the knuckleball when she was just 10 years old and has been torturing male hitters with it for a majority of her life, now.
On Monday, Baker and her knuckleball took on their biggest challenge yet ... the Tampa Bay Rays.
Chelsea's knuckleball is real. She hit Longo in the back. I loved it. With that pitch & her composure she can compete pic.twitter.com/m91X3rZR3G- Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) June 23, 2014
Rays manager Joe Maddon had met Baker a few days earlier and invited the high school ace (she went 3-0 with one save and a 0.74 ERA in her first varsity season) to throw batting practice at Tropicana Field. The big leaguers made solid contact on some of Baker's offerings, but couldn't avoid looking foolish at least once or twice.