News

Girl, 17, helps Tampa Bay Rays at batting practice

Girl, 17, helps Tampa Bay Rays at batting practice

KNUCKLEBALL:Chelsea Baker, a junior knuckleball pitcher on the Durant, Fla., High School boys baseball team throws batting practice to members of the Tampa Bay Rays before an interleague baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday, June 23, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Photo: Associated Press/Chris O'Meara

Rays-Female Knuckleballer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have taken batting practice against a female high school knuckleballer

Evan Longoria, Jose Molina and David Price hit against 17-year-old Chelsea Baker from Durant High School in nearby Plant City. They did it before Monday night’s game against Pittsburgh.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon met Baker recently at an awards ceremony and invited her to Tropicana Field. Maddon says the junior who plays on her school’s baseball team was outstanding and has a knuckleball that “moves nicely.”

Baker admitted that she was intimidated at first, but had a “great time” while pitching from about 10 feet in front of the mound and behind a protective screen. She displayed good control, but did hit Longoria in the back with a pitch.

Molina swung and missed a couple of times, and Price hit a hard line drive up the middle.

Baker says the late major league knuckleballer Joe Niekro taught her to throw the fluttering pitch about 10 years ago.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Seahawks upset again, Cowboys, Packers march on

Fresh
seahawks

The defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks suffered a second straight defeat with a 28-26 loss at the St Louis Rams.

in Sports

Manning posts record 509 touchdowns

Fresh
peyton

The Denver QB broke Brett Favre's record, throwing his 509th touchdown on Sunday.

in National

Ebola czar aims to reverse government mistakes, step up response

Fresh
ebolatreatment

U.S. Ebola czar Ron Klain faces a hefty to-do list when he begins his new role today.

in National

Human remains found in search for missing UVa. student

hannahgraham

Searchers looking for Hannah Graham found human remains in a rural area, five weeks after she was last seen.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP956682787148

A look back on the week's biggest newsmakers and the stories you might have missed.