(Above, March 27, 2009, AP file photo of Eri Yoshida pitching in Japan)
Eri Yoshida, who started her professional baseball career in Japan, has been signed to play for the Chico Outlaws of the 10-team Golden Baseball League, which has teams in Arizona, California, and Canada. She is the first female baseball pitcher signed since Ila Borders, who retired 10 years ago from the Northern League.
The 18-year-old knuckleballer recently received instruction from her idol, Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, during a visit to the Red Sox spring training facility.
The Outlaws open this year's season May 21 on the road. The home opener is scheduled for May 26.
Of course, according to the Enterprise-Record (local) newspaper, the team president was quick to say that Yoshida's signing does not indicate she will automatically make the team and said her appearance in spring training in a few weeks would not be a "circus."
Do team officers and other people use the word "circus" when they're announcing the signing of a man to a professional baseball team?