What's buzzing:

Prep Rally

'Knuckleball Princess' Chelsea Baker off to a perfect start in her prep baseball career

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally
Chelsea Baker is a right-handed knuckleball pitcher for Plant City (Fla.) Durant High's baseball team. (YouTube)
.

View photo

Chelsea Baker is a right-handed knuckleball pitcher for Plant City (Fla.) Durant High's baseball team. (YouTube)

In Japan, they call Chelsea Baker "the Knuckleball Princess" and even once offered her a $50,000 annual contract. But in Plant City, Fla., she's just another member of the Durant High baseball team.

Baker, who rose to prominence upon throwing a pair of perfect games in Little League four years ago, is now a junior right-handed pitcher starting for the Cougars in Florida's competitive Class 7A. Needless to say, she's the only girl on Durant's 10-3 baseball team. But that's not the only reason she stands out.

The 5-foot-2, 120-pound Baker throws mostly knuckleballs, a pitch she learned from two of the best to ever throw it. First, 1979 Major League Baseball All-Star Joe Niekro taught her as a youth and later 2009 MLB All-Star Tim Wakefield helped her perfect it, according to the Plant City Times & Observer.

Baker has started this season 2-0 on the mound with a 0.78 ERA and three strikeouts against only one walk in her first nine innings. The only starting pitcher on the roster to have recorded a win without registering a loss through the first six weeks, she has allowed just seven hits in three appearances.

“When I was little, all my dreams were to be on the USA team and high school baseball, and people always told me, ‘You’ll never play varsity baseball, you’re not strong enough, you don’t have the guts to do it,’" she told The Tampa Tribune upon recording the first win of her high school career, "so coming out here today and taking the win was an awesome feeling. It was like, "I got you.'"

In 2010, Baker appeared on ESPN's "E:60", the MLB Network's "This Week in Baseball" and ABC's "Good Morning America" during her fourth consecutive perfect youth baseball season.

Four years later, she still hasn't lost. Maybe she's not just another member of the baseball team after all.

(h/t MaxPreps)

View Comments (135)
  • Baseball-Major League Baseball roundup

    The Washington Nationals placed right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list Sunday due to a left oblique strain. Strasburg was cruising against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday but was pulled because of tightness in his left side … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 8 seconds ago
  • Brewers extend win streak to 8 games with 6-1 victory

    Brewers extend win streak to 8 games with 6-1 victory

    Taylor Jungmann kept the Milwaukee Brewers rolling. The rookie right-hander allowed one run and four hits in eight innings and the Brewers extended their winning streak to eight games with a 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. It's the … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Greenbrier Classic scores

    July 5 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour Greenbrier Classic at the par-70 course on Sunday in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia PLAY-OFF 1 Danny Lee (New Zealand) after 2 2 David Hearn (Canada) after 2 3 Robert Streb (U.S.) … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • QB Trevor Harris lifts Argonauts to 42-40 OT win over Roughriders

    Trevor Harris threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tori Gurley and then hooked up with running back Anthony Coombs on a three-yard strike for the two-point conversion as the Toronto Argonauts pulled off a 42-40 double-overtime upset against the … More »

    The Canadian Press - 8 minutes ago
  • Austrian Wiesberger wins in Paris after storm delay

    Austrian Wiesberger wins in Paris after storm delay

    Bernd Wiesberger recorded his first win on the European Tour since 2012 with a three-stroke victory in the French Open on Sunday amid challenging conditions. After play at Le National was halted for an hour because of a thunderstorm, the Austrian … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago