Sixteen-year-old pitcher Eri Yoshida became the first woman to be drafted by a professional Japanese baseball league this week. Negotiations are still being made, but Yoshida could become the first woman to share the field with professional male players, breaking a huge barrier for female athletes.
According to Fox News, Yoshida, who began playing baseball in second grade, said in a news conference, “I want to pitch against men.” Known for her knuckleball, Yoshida pitched to eight batters in her November tryouts without giving up one hit.
It was only about 10 years ago that Japanese women were allowed to join little league teams other than softball. Yoshida’s recruitment has been met with skepticism, but opens a new door for aspiring women professional athletes.