Pitching phenom Chelsea Baker
started playing baseball when she was 7, training under former major league pitcher Joe Niekro and adding his knuckleball techniques to her own wicked arm. (Her pitches have been clocked in the mid-60-mph range.)
All that training paid off this past week, as 13-year-old Chelsea was honored at the National Baseball Hall of Fame
for pitching not one but two
perfect games in her little league in Plant City, Fla. Even sweeter? She's the only girl in the game.
In addition to having her jersey become an artifact at the national baseball Hall of Fame, Chelsea was also featured on ESPN's "E:60"
series and CNN
, where, thankfully, she was only asked to smile once. (We swear, has any boy ever been asked to smile for TV cameras?)
For the most part, Chelsea has kept her game face on, entertaining questions about making boys cry when she strikes them out -- "They'll throw their helmets and start crying. It's pretty funny to watch" -- without seeming like the attention is going to her head. She's not a girl who's good at baseball, she's a kid
who's good at baseball, and her only concern now is not being pushed into softball (a wonderful, respected sport in its own right, but one that Chelsea doesn't like), and instead playing baseball in high school and beyond.
We doubt Chelsea's ever even seen "A League of Their Own
"; she was probably too busy working on her fastball and becoming our new hero. Video after the jump!