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 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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.
Baker says the late major league Joe Niekro taught her to throw the pitch.
Home Run Derby captains named
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies will be the captains for the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game.
The event will be held July 14 at Target Field, the night before the showcase game in Minneapolis. Each captain will pick four teammates from their respective leagues. Bautista has tallied 15 homers this season, while Tulowitzki has hit 18.
Christie plays in charity game
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took part a celebrity softball game at Yankee Stadium.
The governor’s “Team Boomer,” headed by “Boomer” Esiason and Craig Carton, eked out a 7-6 win against players from the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and New York Yankees alumni at the fourth annual Bombers Boomer Broadway Softball Classic.
Christie, who was a star catcher in high school and continues to be a baseball fan, fumbled several plays early on, but wound up making a crucial catch to end the seventh inning, helping his team to victory.
Esiason estimated that the celebrity game raised between $30,000 and $40,000 for cystic fibrosis research.