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Thursday, 20th November 2008
In Sports,

First woman player to debut in Japanese baseball team

A Japanese schoolgirl has been accepted into a team in an all-male baseball league, it emerged this week.

Eri Yoshida, 16 and only five-feet tall, was selected to play in Kobe 9 Cruise along with 32 other players, all of them men.

She told reporters than she was inspired to persevere with baseball, despite its male-dominated atmosphere, thanks to her idol, Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield.

"I never dreamed of getting drafted. I want to pitch against men and, eventually, I want to play as a pro in a higher league," she commented, showing some of the ambition that has served her so well.

Japanese professional baseball has 12 teams divided into two leagues, the Central League for more traditional games and the Pacific League for faster-paced tournaments, attests.

The country's most popular club is the Yomiuri Giants, a team which regularly draws in large crowds of spectators.

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